The pandemic is over, the virus remains

Dear readers,

It’s been almost exactly three years since there was the first news of a “mysterious lung disease” in China. And with every turn of the year that followed, there was great hope that one could really say: the pandemic is over. Now the time has come. Just a few days before New Year’s Eve, the virologist Christian Drosten – who is considered the corona expert par excellence in Germany – said in an interview: “We are experiencing the first endemic wave with Sars-CoV-2 this winter, in my opinion it is the pandemic over.”

That doesn’t mean that the coronavirus suddenly disappeared. And that doesn’t mean that the coronavirus doesn’t remain a challenge for many people’s health. (You may have had to experience both – like so many others – over the holidays.) But many of our decisions in recent years have been shaped by the corona virus. The virus has determined our lives: We canceled weddings, didn’t celebrate birthdays, worked from home, didn’t go to school and experienced how suddenly the whole world (almost) came to a standstill.

“Life and Us”

That is no longer the case today. The pandemic is no longer the only – or even the most important – lens through which we look at our lives. And that also applies to this newsletter. The aim of “The Pandemic and Us” has always been to accompany you, dear readers, through this turbulent and stressful time. And even if the corona virus is no longer the biggest threat at the moment, we would like to continue to do just that.

And with that: Welcome to the first issue of “Life and We” – your guide to health, well-being and the whole family. As in real life, the corona virus will continue to play a role here. But you will also find tips for life as a whole in “Life and Us”: for life in the family, in a partnership, for a healthy life as well as for the serious sides of life.

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We hope to be able to convince you with this newsletter, too, and we are particularly pleased to receive feedback

Happy New Year!

Anna Schughart

life and us

The guide for health, well-being and the whole family – every second Thursday.

From head to toe

Bad teeth are not just a blemish. They also increase the risk of various diseases, as my colleague Irene Habich reports. Conversely, good oral hygiene can help improve health.

“There are studies that show a significant connection between cardiovascular diseases and periodontitis. Other studies have shown that the risk of high blood pressure increases the more pronounced the periodontitis is,” explains Romy Ermler, Vice President of the German Dental Association. Because: Periodontitis often leads to bacteremia, which means that the bacteria get into the bloodstream. This can worsen general health.

The pandemic and us

Will there be another new corona variant in the new year?

Will there be another new corona variant in the new year?

How will the fourth year with Corona be?, Laura Beigel asked herself this week. Of course, nobody can predict that exactly. The course of infection depends on many different factors, making it impossible to make a prognosis for the whole of 2023 today. And yet, the transition from pandemic to endemic that we are now witnessing is a good thing. Because it shows that a large part of the population has built up robust immunity to the corona virus.

As an endemic pathogen, Sars-CoV-2 is now becoming a “regular plague,” says virologist Marco Binder. “In spring and summer, the virus should not cause us any significant problems, and even in autumn and winter I do not expect conditions that would require broad-based containment measures.”

But there is another uncertainty: the evolution of the corona virus is definitely not over yet. For example, the Omikron variant BBX.1.5 is spreading rapidly in the USA.

Well said

It is now known that ultimately every disease can be positively influenced by a balanced diet.

RND columnist Christine Joisten

,Sports medicine doctor

family ties

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Everyday life holds a number of situations in which small children whine or get angry. There is a solution that is as easy as it is effective: the youngsters are handed their cell phones or tablets. However, using this strategy constantly can have consequences for the behavior warn US researchers in the journal “JAMA Pediatrics”. The children lack the practice of emotional coping strategies, the resulting deficit is difficult to eradicate later. According to experts, the ability to regulate one’s own emotions is, among other things, important for success at school and for successful interaction with peers.

With all love

When a relationship breaks up, in some cases the partner’s infidelity is cited as the trigger. A longer affair is the number one reason for separation for German couples. However, a current long-term study now shows that there is usually already a relationship crisis before the affair occurs. According to the authors of the study, this shows that infidelity is often the reason for a separation – but a crisis in the relationship and the dissatisfaction associated with it usually cause the affair in the first place.

The serious side of life

Winter sports enthusiasts at spring temperatures: Skiing on the last strip of artificial snow in Ruhpolding in Upper Bavaria.

Winter sports enthusiasts at spring temperatures: Skiing on the last strip of artificial snow in Ruhpolding in Upper Bavaria.

This winter is unusually warm in Europe. This is also felt by ski holidaymakers in the mountains: Many pistes remain green when the temperatures are high. Skiing holidays in the Alps are increasingly threatened by climate change – and at the same time are part of the problem as my colleague Ben Kendal demonstrates. “With today’s skiing, you can clearly see how energy-intensive our leisure time behavior has become,” explains Alpine researcher Werner Bätzing.

Even if the warm temperatures on New Year’s Eve may seem pleasant at first: record temperatures in December are a sign of climate change. And that doesn’t just have consequences for skiers. The warm temperatures, for example, allow the animals to wake up from their hibernation. Insects that keep a kind of hibernation are also affected. This becomes a problem especially when the temperatures fluctuate badly. In view of the mild temperatures in winter, some birds are already becoming “migratory lazily”, as Silvia Teich from the German Nature Conservation Union explains.

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The beautiful sides of life

People celebrate the New Year in Amsterdam.

People celebrate the New Year in Amsterdam.

Moments when you can hardly breathe with laughter. Hours of feeling light, alive and electrified. What was easy in childhood is difficult for many adults. But researchers say: fun is a matter of practice. An important factor here is: the playfulness (+). “Playfulness is a personality trait that enables us to shape situations in such a way that we perceive them as entertaining, intellectually stimulating and interesting,” explains René Proyer, who has been researching the role of playfulness in adults’ everyday lives for years. His studies show that people with a playful attitude benefit in many ways – they have happier relationships, are more sexually experimental and live healthier and fitter.

The good thing is that playfulness can be trained. Looking for the absurd and saying yes when situations drift off the rails, laughing at yourself, sending out game signals – compliments, small talk, jokes – all of this can help.

If you have any suggestions or criticism, please contact our editorial team directly We are happy!

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