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‘Added pressure’ Meghan Markle and Harry ‘anxious’ in latest appearance, says expert

'Added pressure' Meghan Markle and Harry 'anxious' in latest appearance, says expert

Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, made their return to the public spotlight by visiting a 9/11 memorial in New York. The Sussexes were joined by the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul at One World Trade Center’s observatory.

The couple’s outing was the pair’s first public appearance since the birth of their second child, Lilibet, in June.

But one body language expert has said the Sussexes seemed to be feeling the “pressure” during their visit to the Big Apple.

Judi James told the Mirror: “The couple’s arrival looked suitable sombre to match the sombre venue but there were also some signs that the baby-break had created some added pressure for this first time in the spotlight again for the US power couple.

“Harry looked especially anxious, touching his wife’s back as she walked into the venue in a small steering gesture but then performing several checking touches of his jacket and clothing to hint at some inner nerves.

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“Meghan walked ahead and she walked quickly, although their brief low-held wave and smile to the crowd was more reminiscent of their signature look.”

But Ms James also claimed that while the pair were less affectionate with each other than usual this could be because of the “sombre” tone of the event.

“There was little in the way of PDAs from the couple here, who might have felt the occasion deserved a more professional look,” she said.

The body language expert added: “Harry placed an arm around his wife’s back as they posed for photos inside the venue but their smiles were ‘Lightning’ smiles, performed quickly and rather rigidly for the camera before disappearing quickly again.

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They now live in a $ 15million California mansion, which is almost 3,000miles away from the Big Apple.

The Mirror reports both of their children stayed at their Santa Barbara home during their New York trip.

Read more here Daily Express :: Royal Feed

Britons among most anxious in world about loosening Covid rules

The study comes as a psychologist highlights preliminary research showing Britons are among the most anxious about Covid compared to the US, China and Europe. Following the announcement that July 19 is set to see the end to compulsory social distancing and mask wearing, a new survey reveals many Brits are anxious about the loosening of restrictions due to heightened post pandemic health concerns

The survey of 2,006 adults carried out by Medical ID charity, MedicAlert showed 77 percent of UK adults are anxious about the loosening of lockdown restrictions and, despite the final roadmap out of lockdown confirming the rule of six for gatherings is to be scrapped, thirty-five percent of those polled plan to stay away from crowds and social gatherings.

Separate work carried out by Professor Marcantonio Spada from London’s Southbank University (LSBU) in collaboration with Professor Ana Nikčević from Kingston University found up to one in five have developed a set of behaviours – which they have called Covid anxiety syndrome – are keeping them “stuck in a state of threat and fear” about becoming infected with the virus, and may stop them returning to a normal life.

Figures released last week from their study of 975 people showed up to twenty percent of people is still affected by the syndrome despite government moves to open up.

Age, gender, and vaccination status were not found to be predictors of who might be affected.  

It found 40 percent reported avoiding touching things in public spaces and 30 percent reported avoiding public transport for the same reason. Twenty three percent reported avoiding going out to public places and 25 percent strongly reported paying close attention to others displaying possible symptoms of the virus.

Professor Marcantonio Spada, Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health at LSBU, said: “Our data indicates that after one month of re-opening of society many people are still struggling with aspects of Covid anxiety syndrome, a similar figure to what we previously observed during full lockdown.  

“This means that there are still many people who find it difficult to disengage from the Covid threat which may make return to normal daily living harder as restrictions ease.”

The team has also carried out global comparisons of 6,000 people using data collected from March 2021. Preliminary findings of this work, carried  out in collaboration with Imperial College London show the UK, Italy and the US have fared worse than China, Germany and Sweden in prevalence of Covid anxiety syndrome.

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Anxious Residents of Sister Tower to Fallen Florida Condo Wonder: Stay or Go?

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Philip Zyne peered over the balcony of his condo near Miami Beach around midday on Saturday and pointed to a large crack running in the parking lot below his unit.

Normally, he might not have given it a moment’s thought. But Mr. Zyne, 71, lives at Champlain Towers North, the sister condo complex to the building in Surfside, Fla., that partially collapsed into a mass of rubble on Thursday, leaving four people dead and 159 missing. Now he was on high alert: Could the building where he lives be next?

“I would’ve never noticed that if this hadn’t happened,” Mr. Zyne said.

It is a question on the minds of many South Floridians, especially those in older, beachfront buildings that are faced day in and day out with similar outside conditions as the Champlain Towers South: salty air, rising seas, aging concrete.

On Saturday, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County announced a 30-day audit of all buildings 40 years and older under the county’s jurisdiction, which does not include cities like Miami and Surfside, where the building fell.

Mayor Charles W. Burkett of Surfside said he was considering asking residents of Champlain Towers North to voluntarily evacuate as a precaution until their building, which has had no reports of serious problems, could be thoroughly inspected. Inspectors from the town and county spent several hours giving the building an initial inspection on Saturday afternoon, according to the town and the condo board.

From the outside, Champlain Towers North, at 8877 Collins Ave., seems identical to Champlain Towers South — same developer and same design, built just one year apart. Most terrifying for Mr. Zyne is that his unit is in the same part of the building as the apartments that crumbled in the South complex, those facing the pool and the Atlantic.

“It’s scary,” said Bud Thomas, 55, his neighbor upstairs, as he also looked out on Saturday. “I’m hoping that this one doesn’t have the same structural problems as the other one.”

Members of the condominium board, who are longtime Champlain Towers North residents, said in interviews on Saturday that they are confident their building is in far better shape than the South building was, as a result of prompt and continuous maintenance.

But that has not reassured some of their residents, some of whom hastily packed bags and found other places to sleep for at least a few days in the immediate aftermath of the nearby disaster.

The Zynes left their apartment to stay with their daughter but came back on Saturday. They recalled being awakened in the early hours of Thursday by an alarm signaling that the lights had gone out in their condominium. It was only later that they realized the lights had gone out at about the same time that the nearby building had collapsed.

Nora Zyne, 69, lost three friends who remained unaccounted for.

“I feel extremely saddened — I’ve known them for 30 years,” she said. “We were all so close. I felt a sense of — can you imagine being at home in the safest place, you’re sleeping and that horrific —” Her thought trailed off. “I pray that they were asleep and don’t know what happened. You lost people you shared your life with. I can’t understand how something like that could happen.”

Ruby Issaev, a former tenant of the South towers, bought an apartment with her husband in the North towers four years ago. After the collapse, she moved into her daughter’s place a few miles away. She is not sure if she will return — and already misses the community that sustained her in the building during the pandemic.

“Even if nothing happened” to her building, she said, the absence of the South towers will be tough: “I wonder if my neighborhood will be the same.”

On Saturday, a family of four left the building carrying their belongings and grocery bags en route to a nearby hotel. “We just want to move out, just for safety,” said one member of the family, who declined to be identified.

The atmosphere in the building lobby was somewhat tense as some residents who had heard about a possible evacuation tried to press condo board members for more information.

“Have people looked at the water in the basement?” Betty Clarick, 82, who lives on the fifth floor, asked Ms. Gandelman in the lobby. (Ms. Clarick also called the building’s maintenance and management “excellent.”)

“Of course I’ve been apprehensive,” said Rafik Ayoub, 76, a second-floor resident who has lived in the building for 17 years. “We just want to make sure that our building gets inspected thoroughly.” (“They building is run very well,” he added.)

Minutes from a November condo board meeting obtained by The New York Times showed that some maintenance work was underway in hallways, which have been stripped of their baseboards and in some cases remained covered in plastic. The board also discussed a concern about planters near the pool that were leaking into the parking garage below, a problem similar to one of the most serious deficiencies identified in a 2018 engineer’s report about what was causing rebar to rust and concrete to crumble in the South towers.

A third building, Champlain Towers East, which was erected in 1994 with a different design from the other condos, stands between the North towers and the remains of the South towers.

Champlain Towers North was built in 1982, a year after Champlain Towers South. Its mandatory 40-year building recertification is due next year. Naum Lusky, the president of the condo board, said the association had begun to work with inspectors ahead of that date but now would accelerate efforts in light of the South tragedy.

He emphasized that the board in that building has addressed aging building problems as they have come up in order to avoid the kind of major repairs that had been identified as necessary in the South building before half of it came down. He accompanied the town and county inspectors on a tour of the building on Saturday and said no big problems were apparent.

“This building is spick and span,” he said. “There is no comparison” to the sister condo.

In a show of his confidence, Mr. Lusky, 81, who has lived in the North towers for 22 years, stayed in the building after the neighboring collapse.

Last year, the building inspected all balconies to look for water leaks and fix them. Work on the pool deck was completed about six months ago, said Hilda Gandelman, another condo board member. That work addressed the leaky planters, according to Mr. Lusky. The building manager declined to be interviewed.

Ms. Gandelman said she knows three of the people missing in the South towers. She said her friends from that condo would come visit and note that the North complex was in better shape.

“They used to come to this building and they used to say, ‘Oh my goodness, this building is so well-kept,’” she said. “‘In our building they have to ask for so many special assessments,’” her neighbors told her, she said.

John Pistorino, a Miami structural engineer, said that the collapse of the South towers did not necessarily mean that the North towers — or any other buildings in the area — were at particular risk of collapse.

“This collapse is so unusual, I don’t think this is indicative of all the buildings we have up and down the coast,” he said. But he added that the collapse was “certainly a warning to do due diligence on all the buildings, including that particular one,” to make sure that the buildings have been well maintained.

It was difficult not to worry about a 39-year-old building so similar to a 40-year-old building that fell in such stunning fashion. Mr. Burkett, the Surfside mayor, said beachfront residents from across his small town have called him, nervous.

“Are the buildings on the ocean safe?” they asked him.

What to do took over part of a special meeting of the Town Council on Friday. After consulting with other officials, including Ms. Levine Cava, Mr. Burkett said on Saturday that a voluntary evacuation might be a good idea. He planned to approach the condo board, which has scheduled a meeting for Sunday morning.

“We would rather not make it mandatory,” he said. “If there are people in that building who are comfortable staying here, it seems to me the chances are low that we’d have the same exact problem with that building. But personally I would not want to take that chance.”

Sophie Kasakove contributed reporting and Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Author: Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Patricia Mazzei and Joseph B. Treaster
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

The Anxious History of Understanding Cortisol

In 1941, with the Second World War well underway, the Allies captured a German submarine that was returning from Argentina with an unusual cargo — a meaty mass that resembled adrenal glands, the two grape-sized organs that sit on top of kidneys and that produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, among others.

A rumor quickly spread around American military circles that the Nazis were injecting their pilots with an adrenal extract to make them resistant to stress and capable of zooming around at altitudes above 40,000 feet, unaffected by low oxygen levels.

By October, the buzz was so loud that the army requested a conference with leading scientists to discuss the potential development of similar hormones of the adrenal cortex. One of those scientists, chemist Edward Kendall, later recalled in his 1950 Nobel Prize speech that this was the moment when the outlook for research on the adrenal extract “changed suddenly and completely.” The American government made it their third research priority, after penicillin and antimalarials. Although the mystery meat onboard the German submarine later proved to be just liver, the race to produce miracle drugs from the adrenal glands was on.

Adrenal Innovators

Bartolomeo Eustachius

An Italian anatomist, Bartolomeo Eustachius, in the mid-16th century first described the adrenals, but the Catholic Church hid his work deep in the Vatican library for 150 years. Interest in the adrenal glands resurfaced only in the 19th century when British physician Thomas Addison showed a link between “the suprarenal capsules” and a fatal disease marked by vomiting, extreme fatigue, and darkening of the skin. It is now known as Addison disease. At roughly the same time, the French physiologist Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard endeavored to find an “elixir of life,” a mysterious secretion from internal glands. Besides injecting himself with an extract of dog testes to see whether it would boost his stamina (he claimed it did), Brown-Sequard also showed that animals couldn’t survive after he removed these glands.

By the 1930s, various adrenal extracts were touted to the public as miracle cures for anything from mental fatigue to poor resistance to colds. During this period, Edward Kendall, a chemist at the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota, and a self-described “hormone hunter,” turned his attention to extracting a “crystalline organic substance” from the adrenal cortex, which he named cortin. Kendall famously spent every single day in his lab, Christmas included. His workaholism was no doubt due in part to his competition with a Polish-Swiss chemist, Tadeusz Reichstein, who was attempting to purify the hormones of the adrenal cortex in his Zurich lab. Both men announced success at nearly the same time. In 1935, Kendall isolated five compounds from bovine adrenal glands, including compound E (cortisone) and compound F (cortisol). In 1936, Reichstein isolated seven compounds, also including cortisol and cortisone (it would later be discovered that cortisone was actually a metabolite of cortisol).

The Confounding Road to Compounds E and F

Accelerated wartime efforts to synthesize compound E finally met success in 1944. In what was called “the world’s most complex chemical synthesis,” a scientist working for Merck & Company obtained cortisone from cattle bile in 36 chemical steps.

Any resulting optimism, however, soon collapsed in the face of substantial impediments. Adrenal extracts were difficult to produce and were exorbitantly expensive — in 1949, the price per gram of cortisone was $ 200.00, which is about $ 2100 in today’s dollars. What’s more, they seemed to have no practical use besides treating the extremely rare Addison disease. By 1948, Merck had spent over $ 13 million on the development of compound E but had no disease to use it on, leading Kendall to mark the year as a “low point.” Little did he know that things were about to take a turn for the better, thanks to his collaboration with an American physician named Philip Hench, who, along with Kendall, was being supplied with cortisone by Merck.

Throughout the 1930s, as Kendall was searching for his cortin, Hench was on a mission to find “substance X” — a mysterious compound that he believed was related to jaundice and would relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Hench noticed that when some of his patients developed jaundice, their arthritis symptoms would lessen significantly. Yet, when he tried treating people who had arthritis with ox bile or transfusions of jaundiced blood, it didn’t work. More clues as to the nature of substance X came from observations that symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis would also abate during pregnancy and as a reaction to typhoid vaccine.

In the late 1930s, Hench would occasionally meet with Kendall and would discuss his search for substance X. In January 1941, when Kendall mentioned that his cortin, or compound E, made some animals more resistant to post-typhoid vaccine reactions, Hench scribbled in his notebook to try it on arthritic patients. It took 7 more years, however, until he conducted the experiment. He discovered that his mysterious substance X and Kendall’s elusive cortin might be the same thing.

The First Patient

Mrs Gardner, a 29-year-old from Kokomo, Indiana, was so badly affected by rheumatoid arthritis that on most days the pain wouldn’t allow her to walk or even get out of bed. She was staying at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. She demanded to be treated with every experimental drug possible and refused to be discharged until she got better. On September 21, 1948, she received initial injections of large doses of compound E, even though one of her doctors called it an “absurd idea.” Hench didn’t expect it to work, either.

At first, nothing seemed to happen, yet after 4 days of treatment, Mrs Gardner’s pain was completely gone. When Kendall visited her room, he found her exercising, lifting her hands up over her head — a feat she had been previously incapable of. On September 28, Mrs Gardner left the hospital and went on a shopping spree in downtown Rochester. She seemed completely cured. However, about 2 weeks later, problems began. Her mood would swing from depression to euphoria and back again. She ended up being admitted to Saint Mary’s and was locked in the psychiatric ward, where she refused to take cortisone ever again.

Cortisone’s psychiatric effects, from erratic moods to psychosis, hinted at the links between its active form, cortisol, and stress. However, Mrs Gardner’s psychiatric problems didn’t cast much of a shadow on the spectacular improvement compound E brought to her arthritis. Over the next few months, several other patients were treated and had similarly good results. In April 1949, Hench presented his findings at the Mayo Clinic, including a before-and-after movie clip. The scientists gave him a standing ovation. The press was ecstatic, too, calling the discovery one of “the most dramatic and significant chapters in the history of medical science.” A year later, Hench, Kendall, and Reichstein were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work on the hormones of the adrenal cortex.

Selye’s Discovery of Stress Response

Hans Selye

Among those also nominated for the prize that year was Hans Selye, a Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist who somewhat unintentionally uncovered the link between the adrenal glands and stress.

Like Kendall, Selye was a workaholic, authoring over 1600 scientific articles and 32 books. Selye got the first inklings about the health effects of what we now call stress while he was a medical student at the University of Prague. He noticed that many of the patients, regardless of their disease, had a lot of symptoms in common: fatigue, weight loss, lack of appetite — something that he called the “syndrome of just being sick.”

He sought clues in the sex hormones of rats. Selye was reportedly clumsy, and it is reported that he routinely dropped the unfortunate rodents and often had to chase them around the lab — which inadvertently led to his discoveries of the role of stress in disease. He was surprised to find that both his experimental animals and those in the control group underwent the same bodily changes, including peptic ulcers and enlargement of the adrenal glands. He didn’t learn much about sex hormones, but he was obviously on to something.

In 1936, Selye wrote his famous letter to the journal Nature in which he described what he then called “general adaptation syndrome” and later renamed the “stress response” or “the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made on it.” He linked the stress response to the hormones of the adrenal cortex. He observed, for instance, that the adrenal glands become enlarged in response to various stresses, such as cold, surgery, or toxic substances (and clumsy rodent researchers). What’s more, he linked steroid hormones to anti-inflammatory effects. His article “Relation of the Adrenal Cortex to Arthritis” was published 2 years before Kendall’s experiment on Mrs Gardner.

In the 1940s, many doubted the importance of Selye’s discoveries on stress. One of his contemporaries went as far as to say that he doubted that Selye’s ideas “will survive, in their present form, for very long.” Yet, they did. Today, Selye is often called the “father of stress.” What’s more, over the years, Selye’s work became directly linked with that of Kendall’s — compound F, or cortisol, is now commonly called “the stress hormone.”

Compound E, cortisone, has had quite the career too. The global market for corticosteroids was worth an astounding $ 4.47 billion in 2020, and cortisone is now used to treat various skin conditions, seasonal allergies, asthma, and, yes, rheumatoid arthritis.

Kendall retired in 1951 soon after receiving his Nobel Prize. The younger Selye continued to work for many more years, passing away in 1982. He never witnessed the huge leaps in stress research of recent decades. Selye remained controversial throughout his career, and his reputation was marred by his involvement in pro-smoking campaigns for “big tobacco” in the 1950s and 1960s. His contributions to research on stress, however, live on.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Covid vaccine: AstraZeneca jab causes crowding in A&E departments as ‘people are anxious’

Dr Katherine Henderson reported a huge influx of concerned people visiting A&E after having their AstraZeneca jab. “I think it’s an understandable reaction by the public,” she said. “Emergency departments and GPs are getting a lot of queries. I can understand why people are anxious. “Colleagues across England are reporting this,” she told The Guardian. “It’s definitely a thing.”
It’s for this reason the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has concluded that adults under 30 years of age – who are not in a clinical risk group – should be offered an alternative jab.

What are the alternatives?

The Pfizer/BioNTech is currently available, as is the Moderna vaccine, but the public will not be able to choose which one they get.

When should I seek medical attention?

The MHRA have said that urgent medical advice is only required if any of the following symptoms linger for “more than four days” and occurs “within 28 days of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination”:

  • New onset of severe headache, which is getting worse and does not respond to simple painkillers
  • An unusual headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over, or may be accompanied by blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, difficulty with speech, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • New unexplained pin-prick bruising or bleeding
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
“There is currently no evidence on the interchangeability of the COVID-19 vaccines although studies are underway,” said the MHRA.

This is why “every effort should be made” that people receive the same coronavirus vaccine for both of their jabs.

For example, if you have the Pfizer vaccine for the first coronavirus jab, then the second dose should ideally still be Pfizer.

An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS will continue to offer a vaccine that is right for the individual.

“As the MHRA and JCVI have said, serious side effects are extremely rare and PHE has issued updated advice on when individuals should seek urgent medical advice.”

Recent PHE guidance on vaccination side effects can be found here.

Common side effects of the AstraZeneca jab include having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection; feeling tired; headache, aches and chills.

If these don’t improve after a week or worsen, call NHS 111.

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