Our mental health crashed in 2020. Recovery could take years–CNET, May 2, 2021
COVID-19, lockdowns and financial pressures have inflicted emotional wounds around the world. In the US, anxiety and depression jumped 200% in 2020; in the UK, 31% of people reported depression severe enough to justify “high-intensity psychological support.” Harvard researchers argue that mental health issues rose in a third of the global population, noting: “Imagine if we were saying a third of the population had pneumonia. We would be alarmed.” An in-depth look at this issue and the future implications.
The psychedelic revolution is coming. Psychiatry may never be the same–New York Times, May 9, 2021
Psilocybin and MDMA are poised to be the hottest new therapeutics since Prozac. Universities want in, and so does Wall Street. More companies will get into the “trip business”—such as Field Trip Health’s psychedelic clinics, where experiences happen in luxe “journey rooms” listening to Tibetan chanting. But some worry the rush to commercialize the market could have negative fallout
The Covid disaster in India shows that the future is biological, not digital–CNN, April 7, 2021
The founder of the Global Institute For Tomorrow in Hong Kong argues that human intrusion into the biosphere is the real culprit behind the pandemic and the warning sign that “it is time to pull back from our assault on nature.” He also questions the common belief that “technology will solve major problems”; it will, of course, help, but only if we understand “that human survival is fragile and wholly dependent on a viable biosphere.”
The grim secret of Nordic happiness–Slate, April 28, 2021
A good read for all those interested in wellness and wellbeing policies. An American/Finnish sociologist explains why the Finns are so skeptical about the notion that they’re the world’s happiest people (as measured every year in the World Happiness Report) and contends that Nordic “happiness” is all about reasonable expectations. If you embrace modesty and reject excess—the culture that permeates the entire Nordic region—then you’re happy because your expectations are low. But if your definition of happiness includes joy, love, and meaningful engagement with the people around you, then it’s a different story.
A Striking Stat: China’s birthrate fell 18% from 2019 to 2020, a six-decade low. People over 60 are now 19% of the population; those 264 million people would be the world’s fourth-largest country.
Source: Chinese census data, May 2021