Relationship Talk: Q and A #2

Q: It’s upsetting to me that I keep losing friends because we differ in our political stance and our views of the upcoming election.  How do I handle this? —June in Westlake Village. A: It can be very painful to see people who we have called friends turn away from us just because we don’t agree on certain things.  There was a time when friends could “agree to disagree” and yet still hold mutual respect and care for each other.  Issues that we are facing today societally are emotionally charged,…

Relationship Talk: Q and A #1

Q:  With my husband working remotely from home, we are always together.  Even though I love my husband and we have a good relationship, I feel frustrated that I don’t have the alone time that I used to.  What do I do?  —Terry from Thousand Oaks A: It can be a big adjustment to have both spouses spending all day, every day together.  What we have found in our therapy practice during this pandemic is that marital relationships that were successful and had good communication prior to COVID are currently…

Your Posture Says A Lot About You

How many times have you looked down at your phone today? How many hours have you sat at the computer or leaned over the counter or slouched in the seat of your car today? All these postures put you into flexion, which creates unnecessary pressure on your spine and excess stress on your muscles and connective tissue. This forward-leaning posture can, and will, make you look like an old man or woman before your time. It may cause undue strain and stress even on your child’s body, leading to early…

Pandemic of loneliness

We have all been experiencing the effects of COVID-19 on our freedoms and the loss of what we consider normal.  This virus pandemic has created the need for social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation. However, COVID-19 is not the only pandemic with which we are dealing. In America and in many other countries, we are facing perhaps an even larger threat to our mental and physical health—the Pandemic of Loneliness. According to research, many people, even though they might have “hundreds” of friends through social media, have never felt more isolated…

The Psychological Effect of Face Masks–Perpetuating and Reinforcing Fear

 Purse. Keys. Wallet. Mask.  For many of us in this “new normal,” even a trip to the grocery store has become an ordeal.  We wonder if we will be judged for standing too close to the person in front of us.  We wonder if our children will be affected by breathing recycled air.  We wonder if we should disinfect for a second time the cart we are using.  Our noses itch, and our glasses fog up as we wait to check out.  Once we are in our own cars, we…

Nursing homes in the time of COVID

Being a senior living in a skilled nursing facility under normal circumstances can be a challenging proposition, but in the time of coronavirus, it has become much more difficult. To be sure, there are distinctions between residing in an independent/assisted living home and residing in a skilled nursing home. Senior citizens living in independent/assisted living homes, while facing the concerns and constraints of coronavirus, are still able to move about and interact with others while maintaining social distancing and mask protocols. If they reside in a facility like Hillcrest Royale,…

The Missing Touch

It has been several months since the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine and the scientific data is in. The number of individuals who have contracted the coronavirus and the number of related deaths are dramatically lower than predicted. While many breathe a sigh of relief, another virulent affliction is materializing from behind masks and locked doors. I am speaking of the significant mental health crisis we are now facing in our country as a result of this shutdown. A brand-new, unpublished study by researchers Jean M. Twenge and Thomas E.…

A Psychologist Reflects

No one expected the year 2020 to begin like this. No one expected a microscopic virus to bring such panic and hysteria to our world. Yet here we are. Living in fear and uncertainty can create feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. The buildup of these feelings can have a traumatic impact. As individuals and as a community, we are experiencing what is called “collective trauma.” This worldwide pandemic is having a destructive psychological impact with potentially massive long-term consequences. The stress of prolonged isolation, financial worries, relationship conflicts, grief, and…

Moving the goalposts: 4 reasons it is safe to open America

By Jonathan Geach, M.D. The following article originally appeared on medium.com. It appears here in condensed form. Original Goal: Flatten the Curve The curve of new infections is declining and we do not need to wait for additional testing or a surveillance apparatus to be in place to reopen America. In response to warnings that millions of Americans could die, and the carnage COVID-19 created in Italy, state and local governments instituted drastic social distancing in America. In the meantime, the epidemiological curve in the US has followed the trend…

VCOE Statement on Potential Early Reopening of School Campuses – April 29, 2020

Ventura County Office of Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 29, 2020Dave SchermerDirector of CommunicationsVentura County Office of Education805-383-1922   dschermer@vcoe.org VCOE Statement on Potential Early Reopening of School Campuses – April 29, 2020 The California Department of Education today announced it is studying options for reopening school campuses after Governor Newsom suggested they could open as early as July or August. Many questions remain about the safety, fiscal and labor implications of reopening campuses before the traditional start of the next school year. For now, there has been no alteration to existing school calendars. The Ventura County…