Christmas celebrations in the UK often centre on food, drink and family gatherings, but campaigners warn that the party season can place additional strain on those living with eating disorders.
“It’s tricky even years down the line to watch the happiness and festivities at Christmas,” says Katie Scott, 21, who is in recovery from an eating disorder.
“I have always loved [the time of year] – I love the food, I love being with my family. But now it’s difficult because of the eating disorder.”
She adds: “No matter how hard I try or want it to be carefree or eating-disorder free I know that it can’t be – it’s bittersweet.”
Her comments come as new guidance is published to help those living with eating disorders over the festive season.
Katie first became unwell at the age of 14, restricting her food intake and falling into depression. She was initially diagnosed with eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), and later with anorexia aged 16.
She describes her first diagnosis as the beginning of a “long and ongoing struggle” with eating and her weight, mood and self-harm, straining her relationships with her family and friends.
“It left me feeling desperate and isolated,” she says. “It was a life-threatening situation.”
Katie dropped out of school for periods of time, undergoing inpatient treatment. She was finally discharged from hospital aged 18, joining the year below her at school to finish her education before going to university.
“I had to rebuild my life from rock bottom,” she says.
Katie explains that she has found Christmas “an especially difficult time” both while unwell and in recovery, often feeling unable to get fully involved with the festivities.
“The celebrations are obviously very focused around food,” she says. “I love food, but I’m scared of it so I have this contradiction – the fear factor.
“I’ve found Christmas quite hard to deal with in the past because I wanted to look forward to it, but all of the elements that I love [about it] became stressful and scary.”
She adds: “I think anorexia might be an extreme version of losing the magic of Christmas. It’s still a lovely time of year but it’s not quite the same.
“I kid myself each year that it will be but it’s never as easy as it was before. It can be disappointing.”
The charity Beat estimates 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder, with anorexia known to have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Offering support at Christmas
The NHS and eating disorder charity Beat have published new guidance on how to support people with eating disorders and their families at Christmas.
The advice aims to help friends and family of those of any age with such an illness navigate the festive period – while continuing to manage a condition.
Some of the suggested techniques, based on experience from clinicians, patients and parents, include:
- Serving food as a buffet rather than as sit-down meals
- Minimising the social expectations of people with eating disorders over the festive season
- Treating meals on and around Christmas Day as routinely as possible
- Planning well ahead and thinking about how food features in the day
- Once dinner is over, shifting the focus on to other activities such as playing games
- Making loved ones aware to avoid questions about weight or appetite
For Katie, planning the structure of the day is key, including what she will do if she is feeling stressed – whether that is stepping outside or going for a walk.
She also advises finding someone to confide in. “Try and have one person who is at least aware that you might struggle,” she says.
Beat has also published advice on how to spot the signs of an eating disorder on its website.
Katie says the Christmas period can also be a hard time for her mother, who, she notices, is focused on keeping her safe and feeling OK amid the celebrations.
“She’s had a few very difficult Christmases with me,” Katie says. “It’s almost worse for mum because she has to deal with me and can’t anticipate how I’m going to react.”
Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan, NHS associate clinical director for children and young people’s mental health, says supporting families to manage eating disorders at home is “crucial”.
She adds that the “added pressure of New Year’s resolutions and the bombardment of weight loss messaging” so close to Christmas can prove challenging for those living with an eating disorder.
“Hopefully these tips will really make a difference,” she says.
Caroline Price, Beat’s director of services, has warned that the pressure to eat large amounts at Christmas “can be triggering” for people with binge-eating disorder and bulimia, as well as causing anxiety for people with anorexia.
She says: “People with eating disorders often try to hide their illness and at Christmas when eating is a social occasion – often with people who they do not see frequently – they may feel ashamed and want to isolate themselves from others.
“At the same time, Christmas can be a source of distress for families who are caring for someone with an eating disorder.
“All these pressures can be made more difficult as the normal support networks are often not available at Christmas, as friends may be away, and regular social activities close for the holidays.”
Anyone worried about their own or someone else’s health is urged to contact Beat’s helplines, which are open year-round and every day from 16:00 to 20:00 GMT from 24 December to 1 January.
Those in need of support can get in contact via phone, email, anonymous one-to-one webchat or social media messaging.
- Beat’s adult helpline can be reached on 0808 801 0677, or there is a dedicated Youthline for under-18s on 0808 801 0711. The online support groups and one-to-one webchat can be accessed here.
Teen working in long-term-care home identified as Yassin Dabeh, a Syrian refugee who fled to Canada for a better life – Toronto Star
Nearly five years ago, Yassin Dabeh’s family fled war-torn Syria for a better life in Canada.
Now the family has been confronted with the unspeakable horror of watching Dabeh become the youngest person in the Middlesex-London area to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Dabeh, 19, worked as a contract cleaner at the Middlesex Terrace Long Term Care home in Delaware, Ont., just west of London, and died after contracting the virus, said Mohamad Fakih, a businessman and philanthropist, who spoke with the young man’s father.
“In 2016, they arrived as immigrants from Syria,” said Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, who reached out to the grieving family to offer financial assistance for the funeral. “He said that the community came together and paid for the funeral.”
Fakih said the teenager, who had three brothers and one sister, died on Thursday and was buried on Friday.
To honour Dabeh’s life in his own way, Fakih asked the organizers of a biweekly community outreach event in which 500 meals are cooked for those in need in Regent Park, if Sunday’s event could be held in Dabeh’s memory. They agreed.
Fakih said Dabeh’s father cried when he told him the meals would be served in his son’s honour.
“People need to feel that they’re not alone, especially if they’re refugees,” said Fakih, an immigrant himself who came to Canada from Lebanon more than 20 years ago. “We want to show them that … Canadians, we’re all one big family and they’re not alone. He was very appreciative, the father.”
Details around Dabeh’s death, and its cause, are still emerging.
Dr. Alex Summers, Middlesex-London Health Unit’s associate medical officer of health, told the Star he couldn’t confirm Dabeh’s identity, but only that a male between the ages of 10 and 19 who worked at a long-term-care home had died after testing positive for the virus.
“Obviously a death amongst somebody recently diagnosed with COVID in this age group is a surprise to many and something that is tragic,” said Summers, adding that the deceased was the youngest individual in the health unit region to have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
“The public health unit investigation is primarily on understanding where individuals contracted an infectious disease such as COVID and where it might be spread and trying to intervene to limit transmission,” he noted.
He said that the case in question was considered “resolved,” meaning that the patient was no longer infectious.
“Certainly COVID as a virus can have implications for people well beyond whether or not somebody’s infectious,” Summers said. “Sometimes the repercussions can extend beyond the infectious period certainly. In this instance, all I can share is unfortunately a person of that age recently diagnosed with COVID has passed away.”
According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit, an outbreak was declared at the Middlesex Terrace Long Term Care Home on Dec. 23 and remains “active.” The number of infections at the home is not published.
In the health unit as a whole, there have been 601 COVID-19 cases, 292 of which have been among residents and 309 in staff members, as well as 79 deaths.
Mary Raithby, CEO of APANS Health Services, the company that owns the network of homes to which Middlesex Terrance belongs, said in an email to the Star that “we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Yassin.”
“Out of respect for their loss and grief, we are declining any interview or statement requests at this time,” she said.
Unifor Local 302, which represents employees at Middlesex Terrace, told the Star that Dabeh was not one of its members, but that it sends its “deepest sympathies to this young man’s family and friends.”
Some politicians took to social media Sunday to express their thoughts on Dabeh’s death.
On Twitter, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called Dabeh’s death “a tragedy.”
“Essential workers are at risk every day,” Singh wrote. “Paid sick days, faster vaccine rollout and access to PPE are needed urgently — to save lives.”
“My sincerest condolences to this young man’s family, friends, & loved ones — and all victims of COVID-19,” tweeted London mayor Ed Holder. “The virus doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, religion, or creed. Everybody needs to take this seriously, otherwise anybody can find themselves at risk.”
Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at the Sinai Health System and University Health Network, said the vast majority of young people who get COVID-19 experience mild, asymptomatic courses. But he said there is a very small segment of young people who get serious and hard-to-treat bouts of the virus that require hospitalization.
“One of the biggest reasons people die due to influenza is not actually due to influenza but because influenza can actually trigger other issues,” he said. “For a lot of older people, influenza can actually trigger a pneumonia or a co-infection with something like pneumonia. It can also, if you have something like heart disease, trigger you to actually have a heart attack or other things.”
Sinha noted that it is really hard to say at this stage what may have happened to Dabeh.
“It could have been something completely unrelated … or it might have been that COVID-19 triggered something else or caused something else to get worse.”
Dentists, teachers disappointed they won’t be prioritized for vaccine in B.C. – Global News
Dentists, bus drivers and teachers are among the essential workers who are disappointed they won’t be given priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in British Columbia.
B.C. rolled out its vaccination plan on Friday, revealing that after the most vulnerable groups have been immunized, shots will be given out according to age, with the oldest residents first in line.
That means many people who have not been able to work from home during the pandemic, including grocery store workers, police officers and mail carriers, will have to wait to get the vaccine along with others in their age group.
The British Columbia Dental Association has written a letter to Premier John Horgan strongly urging him to include dentists in Stage 2 of the vaccination plan, alongside family doctors and medical specialists.
“Dentistry is an essential service. More importantly, dental care, including aerosol-generating dental procedures, are provided to patients who cannot wear a mask during treatment,” said association president Dr. Anthony Nadolski in the letter.
B.C. teachers and grocery store workers won’t get COVID-19 shots early
“B.C. dentists continue to do everything they can to ensure dental offices are safe for patients and staff. Early access to vaccines will ensure continued access to urgent and emergency dental care.”
Other agencies such as the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have included dentists and dental workers in Stage 2 along with doctors and specialists not directly involved in providing care to COVID-19 patients, Nadolski added.
More recently, Ontario included dentistry in its second stage because dentists generally provide in-person care and many dental procedures are urgent and cannot be delayed, he said.
The B.C. Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
The province initially suggested that people delivering essential services such as teachers, grocery store workers and those in law enforcement could be prioritized to get the vaccine.
But when the finalized plan was released on Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said scientific evidence supports an age-based approach because older populations are at much higher risk of infection and death from COVID-19.
The immense logistical challenge of B.C.’s mass vaccination program
Currently, hospital workers, Indigenous communities and long-term care home residents, staff and essential visitors are among those being vaccinated in Stage 1 of the plan.
Stage 2 will begin in February and include people 80 and over, Indigenous seniors over 65, general practitioners and medical specialists.
In April, the province will start vaccinating the general public according to five-year age groupings, starting with seniors aged 75 to 79 before moving on to those aged 70 to 74 and so on.
However, Henry added that the approval of more vaccines may mean the province’s plan could be revised to vaccinate essential workers between April and June.
Metro Vancouver bus drivers are “very disappointed” they will not be prioritized while they risk their lives to provide transportation to the public, said Balbir Mann, president of Unifor Local 111.
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan
The union is calling on the provincial government to immediately change the plan and include transit operators in Stage 2.
“We’re basically frontline workers, taking people to work and grocery shopping. Our members are real heroes,” said Mann. “They’re putting their lives in front of this to help out the general public.”
Teachers are also disappointed there is no prioritization for front-line workers who have kept schools, public services and the economy open, said B.C. Teachers Federation President Teri Mooring.
“However, the vaccine supply limit is beyond our control and those among us who are most vulnerable of death and serious illness must be vaccinated first,” she said in a statement.
Hopefully more vaccines are approved and the immunization strategy will be appropriately adjusted and accelerated, she said.
Mooring added if teachers are not prioritized for vaccines, the government must take immediate action to improve safety measures in schools, including mandatory masks, better physical distancing and ventilation upgrades.
“There is no denying that teachers are stressed, anxious and even afraid. We do not have the layers of protection in our schools that exist in other environments.”
© 2021 The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan now over 100 per cent in COVID-19 vaccines administered; 260 new cases, three deaths, 168 recoveries – paNOW
Daily COVID-19 Statistics
There are 260 new cases of COVID-19 to report in Saskatchewan on January 24, 2021, bringing the provincial total to date to 22,177 cases.
Three Saskatchewan residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. One death reported was in the 60-69 age group from the Far North East zone. The two other deaths were reported in the Regina zone – one in the 60-69 age group and the other in the 80+ age group.
The new cases are located in the Far North West (26), Far North Central (one), Far North East (three), North West (52), North Central (14), North East (nine), Saskatoon (72), Central West (six), Central East (11), Regina (42), South West (one), South Central (four) and South East (17) zones. Two new cases have pending residence information.
Eight cases with pending residence information were assigned to the Far North West (one), North West (four) and North Central (three) zones.
A total of 18,673 individuals have recovered and 3,251 cases are considered active.
One hundred and ninety-six (196) people are in hospital. One hundred and sixty-four (164) people are receiving inpatient care: Far North West (four), North West (13), North Central (23), North East (one), Saskatoon (68), Central West (three), Central East (eight), Regina (36), South West (one), South Central (one) and South East (six). Thirty-two (32) people are in intensive care: North West (two), North Central (four), Saskatoon (15), Central East (one), Regina (nine) and South Central (one).
There were 2,684 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on January 23, 2021.
To date, 490,939 COVID-19 tests have been processed in Saskatchewan. As of January 22, 2021 when other provincial and national numbers were available, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 279,708 people tested per million population. The national rate was 452,236 people tested per million population.
Further statistics on the total number of cases among healthcare workers, breakdowns of total cases by source of infection, age, sex and region, total tests to date and the per capita testing rate can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan website. Please visit here.
The seven-day average of daily new cases is 272 (22.5 new cases per 100,000 population) and is now available on the Government of Saskatchewan website. This chart compares today’s average to data collected over the past several months. Please visit the dashboard here.
On Twitter: @princealbertnow
China Passes U.S. As No. 1 Destination For Foreign Investment As Coronavirus Upends Global Economy – Forbes
South Korea Eyes Rich Nation Status as Economy Holds Up – Yahoo Canada Finance
How Canada's 742531 COVID-19 cases break down by province | News – Daily Hive
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Sports7 hours ago
Dana White reveals fate of internet pirate he targeted for threatening to illegally stream UFC 257
Sports6 hours ago
Nate Diaz reacts to Conor McGregor’s KO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 – MMA Fighting
Tech4 hours ago
You can unlock this secret Isu weapon in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla just by whacking a pile of rocks
Sports54 mins ago
Justin Poirier and Conor McGregor show mutual admiration during backstage meeting following UFC 257
Tech4 hours ago
Canada Car Insurance Quote – How Anti-Theft Devices Help Reduce Premiums
Politics1 hour ago
Parliament resumes amid heightened political pressure on pandemic, vaccines
News22 hours ago
350 Canada Post employees at Mississauga, Ont. facility sent home to self-isolate as cases continue to rise – CTV Toronto
Investment1 hour ago
Post-pandemic investment idea with a better chance of success