Friday, May 15, 2020

WHO Global Aging Report

Photo by Wendy North.

I'm spending May developing a university course on the topic of Global Aging and Health Care. Textbooks are always a few years behind current data. However with COVID-19, the information about the health of older adults is rapidly becoming outdated.

Even with COVID-19, the world's population is aging. Do countries have support services in place to assist them? 

The health of older adults is interwoven with other dimensions of their location--their country's economics, politics, military conflicts, population pyramids, migration patterns, and available health care services, just to name a few.

Nevertheless, I am striving to learn the "lay of the land" about global aging by surveying reports by major stakeholders such as WHO, UN, UNESCO, OECD and others.

I'm starting by reading the World Health Organization's report Global Health and Aging (published in October 2011).

Here are the highlights with some responses based on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Plague: Book Review

Published in 1947.
Albert Camus wrote The Plague, a novel about a plague occurring during the 1940s in Oran, an Algerian town.

I decided to spend the month of April 2020 reading this novel, given the way that COVID-19 aka coronavirus has dominated the attention in most venues--from international news to dinner table conversations.

The book has 30 chapters, so I was able to focus on a chapter a day.

Reading a fictional account gave me the opportunity to gain a little distance from my own experience. 

The two main narrators of the novel--Dr. Rieux and Mr. Tarrou--record their response to Oran's plague.

Camus' novel does not strive for historical or scientific accuracy. Instead, it is an exploration of the meaning of suffering, the meaning of life, and how people create purpose.

For a more detailed summary, see my Goodreads Review, which is more about describing each "tree" (chapter summaries) and not so much about "the forest." Also, the GR review contains over two dozen direct quotes. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Risk Factors for Severe Cases of COVID-19

Image by Pariswestren via Creative Commons
I have been hesitant about posting, because I feel as though all interest is about COVID-19 aka the coronavirus, but I'm not an infectious disease specialist, an epidemiologist, or a community health expert. But I am reading about this every day.

Travel and contact with an infected people are chief risk factors, but what other risk factors are emerging?


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tomie dePaola and Strega Nona

Strega Nona first published in 1975.
Yesterday, the world lost a great storyteller-illustrator-artist, Tomie dePaola, who was 85. He died due to complications from a fall. I have probably read about a dozen of his books to my children when they were little, but that's just a small portion of his life's work.
"His writing career spanned over 50 years during which he worked on more than 270 books. Close to 25 million copies of his books were sold worldwide, and were translated into over 20 languages." Source
Over the years, I have thinned out my books, so I went from owning about five of dePaolo's books to owning just one: the first Strega Nona book, published in 1975. He went on to write ten more books that feature this wise, ageful, Italian grandmother.