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    Linda Nolan reveals heartbreaking update on her cancer battle and says ‘I’m trying not to panic’

    LINDA Nolan has vowed “not to live in fear” as she revealed a heartbreaking update in her cancer battle.In March, The Nolans singer, 64, gave a devastating update on her illness as she revealed her cancer had spread to her brain.
    Linda Nolan has vowed not to ‘live in fear’ as she updated fans on her cancer diagnosisCredit: Splash
    The singer, 64, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2017Credit: Getty
    Linda, second left, found fame in her family’s band The NolansCredit: Getty
    Horrifyingly, she was then forced to deny she was dead.
    Now Linda has told how the cruel disease has sparked memory loss – leading her to forget the name of her Loose Women star sister Coleen’s daughter.
    Writing in The Mirror Linda said: “The moment I had to turn to Coleen’s son Jake’s girlfriend and ask her what my niece, Coleen’s daughter, is called.
    “My memory has been lapsing for a while but that moment was as bad as it has got. I could actually have asked Ciara herself – that’s it, CIARA.
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    “She’s funny like her mum, and she’d have responded just like her, too.
    “You can imagine the comments about my age… But I didn’t, because deep down it doesn’t feel right. As I said, I won’t panic.
    “My balance is still better than it was, I’m not having headaches. I have some scans arranged and I’ll wait for them.”
    The brave singer then added: “I’m not going to live in fear, because it’ll take over, and I have to concentrate on making the most of now.”
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    Back in April, we revealed how Linda had already started to plan her funeral.
    Talking of her late husband Brian’s funeral, she described it as “amazing”.
    Linda additionally referred to her sibling’s passing and told the publication: “Bernie arranged hers [her funeral]. It’s easier for people left behind.
    “I’ve gone into it a little bit. A Neil Sedaka song, Our Last Song Together. And I know the funeral people I’m going to use.”
    Her sister Bernie died from breast cancer aged 52 in 2013 after it had spread to her brain, lungs, liver and bones.
    Linda’s husband Brian also died from skin cancer in 2007.
    Linda was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2005 and given the all-clear the next year.
    But in March 2017, she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer which was identified after it spread to her hip, following a fall.
    Read More on The Sun
    Doctors confirmed they could see no cure – and in May 2020 that it had also spread to her liver.
    Previously she has heartbreakingly admitted she does not know how much time she has left.
    She admitted she had forgotten the name of sister Coleen’s daughter, CiaraCredit: Getty
    Back in March, Linda was told how her cancer had spread to her brainCredit: Rex
    She has heartbreakingly confessed she does not know how much time she has leftCredit: Splash More

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    COVID-19 in the UAE: Masks are no longer mandatory


    by Olivia Morris
    3 hours ago

    If we cast our minds back to March 2020, the world was grinding to a halt as an official pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation following the outbreak of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
    Stay-at-home guidelines were implemented for countries around the world, flights were grounded and everyday life as we knew it came to a standstill.
    From the get-go, the UAE was proactive in its approach to combatting the virus, implementing health and safety guidelines, social distancing measures and a mask mandate which came into effect on March 26, 2022, and has been strictly monitored since then.
    Now, two and a half years later, it’s been announced by UAE officials, masks will no longer be mandatory to wear in almost all instances.

    #NCEMA: During our media briefing today, we announce the loosening of COVID-19-related restrictions nationwide, as well as the updates to all sectors, which will be in force from 28th September, 2022. #TogetherWeRecover
    — NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 26, 2022

    It was announced by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) on Monday night during a briefing that from September 28, 2022, wearing face masks would now be optional in most open and closed facilities and spaces across the UAE, as well as in Dubai private schools, early childhood centres, universities and training institutes. Masks, however, do remain mandatory inside medical facilities, mosques and on public transportation.
    In addition, masks are no longer mandatory on flights, but airlines have the power to mandate them if deemed a necessity.
    Furthermore, the isolation time period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 has been reduced to five days and the green pass on the Al Hosn app has been extended from 14 days to 30 days.
    And while we’re finally seeing almost all restrictions ease, it was noted by the NCEMA that “despite the current stable situation, the pandemic is still ongoing, and the next phase will require community responsibility”.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
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    Covid-19: What’s Next for South Africa – And When Will It Be Over?

    Since the last wave of Covid-19, Omicron, hit South Africa at the end of last year, it seems that things have been looking decidedly up. Schools have done away with rotational attendance, and most workplaces are even opening up, which means regular commutes are back. Masks seem to be worn less and less, and Coachella just announced zero Covid-19 regulations at this year’s festival.
    However, some places still uphold Covid-19 restrictions, while others are lax. The uncertainty is confusing, perhaps summed up best by that *highly* relatable moment Chrissy Teigan had on Insta. There’s just way too much confusing, and contradicting, info up in the air.
    So… is Covid-19 over?
    The short answer? No. Professor Salim Abdul Karim, an epidemiologist who shared the latest insights on the virus during interview on JacarandaFM, noted that while there’s been a decrease in virus rates, we’re not out of the woods yet. However, the noted dearth in infections raises economic opportunities that we can capitalise on while it lasts, he advised. “It’s not that we’re only acting on the science, we’re having to balance it with the needs of the economy,” said Karim.
    READ MORE: How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies, Or A Possible COVID-19 Infection?
    Expect a new wave
    According to the pattern of the virus, Karim reckons that we’re looking at another wave of infection in the next few months, likely around April. Whether or not this will prove devastating is a different question considering South Africa has only reached a vaccination rate of 30%. Karim and many other health professionals advise that it’s important that the population gets vaccinated, since this is the fastest way to lessen restrictions and the burden of disease.
    Furthermore, experts have warned that the virus is unlikely to go away at all. Instead, we will probably face more waves, each with different intensities. Plus, having the virus once doesn’t mean you won’t be infected again.
    READ MORE: Nearly Half Of COVID-19 Infections Could Be Asymptomatic, New Study Suggests
    What you can do
    If you haven’t yet, you can go get vaccinated. If you’ve had your shot, you can schedule a booster dose when you’re due.
    The reality is that Covid-19 is far from over, but we’re definitely a lot closer than we were before.

    READ MORE ON: Coronavirus COVID-19 Health News Health Tips More

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    Are COVID-19 Outcomes Worse For People Living With HIV?

    South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with close to 8 million people living with the disease. With South Africa having recorded over 373 628 cases of COVID-19 positive cases so far, it’s no surprise that there have been questions around how the virus plays out in those living with HIV.
    New research – considered to be the largest study of a group of people who were both living with HIV and hospitalised with COVID-19 – looked to answer this question. According to the study, being HIV positive does not pose a bigger risk for worse COVID-19 outcomes.
    Why you shouldn’t worry
    The worst had indeed been assumed when no research into this had been done at all, and while the scientists don’t necessarily know why, they found that patients living with well-controlled HIV in their study population didn’t have any worse outcomes compared to a similar comparison group. The scientists did mention that more research would need to be done to confirm this.
    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About HIV As A Woman: Latest News, Treatments, Breakthroughs
    “In conclusion, we found no differences in adverse outcomes associated with HIV infection for hospitalised COVID-19 patients compared to a similar comparison group,” the study concluded.
    “Verification of this finding in other large cohorts is warranted to improve understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on people living with HIV. If confirmed, investigation of specific factors contributing to similar outcomes in this large group of patients with immune disturbance may provide greater insight into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.”
    What you need to know
    If people living with HIV have been anxious about what contracting COVID-19 would mean for them, this study should ease their fears.
    “I’m telling [my patients] ‘look, take standard precautions, but there’s no reason to live in fear that having HIV is causing you to be more likely to die from COVID,” Dr Keith Sigel, lead researcher for the study, said in a statement.
    “Although this, to date, is the largest study that’s been published that has a comparison group, many of the studies without comparison groups have shown a similar finding – that is reassuring.”
    HIV awareness and education organisation Avert offers some other important points people living with HIV should take note of:
    Current evidence suggests that HIV is less of a risk factor for severe COVID-19 than other health conditions.
    People living with HIV not on treatment or virally suppressed may be at a greater risk.
    As with the general population, older people living with HIV and those with other underlying conditions should take extra precautions to prevent illness.
    Try to have at least 30 days’ supply of ART in your home. If possible, ask for three months.
    The new list of underlying conditions that up your risk
    The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a newly expanded list of underlying conditions that put individuals at an increased risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. This came after the organisation reviewed published reports, pre-print studies and several other sources of data. Here’s the updated list:
    Chronic kidney disease
    Type-2 diabetes
    COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
    Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    Sickle cell disease
    The CDC also included a list of other conditions that might increase an individual’s risk of severe COVID-19 illness:
    Cystic fibrosis
    Neurological conditions such as dementia
    Liver disease
    Pulmonary fibrosis
    Type-1 diabetes
    Cerebrovascular disease
    They clarified that these lists are living documents that may be updated at any time as the science evolves.
    New isolation guidelines for South Africans
    The minister of health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, announced that the recommended isolation period for someone who tests positive for COVID-19 is now 10 days and no longer 14 days.
    “The presence of a detectable virus when testing does not imply infectiousness – it has been proven that in mild cases, virus cultures are generally only positive for eight to nine days after symptom onset,” Dr Mkhize said in his statement.
    “The duration of infectiousness in patients with severe disease is less well established. In general, patients with severe disease may continue to shed the virus at higher levels for longer periods than patients with mild disease.”
    The new guidelines go as follows:
    An asymptomatic patient can end isolation 10 days after testing.
    A patient with mild disease can end isolation 10 days after the onset of the symptoms.
    A patient with severe disease can end isolation 10 days after clinical stability has been achieved.
    READ MORE ON: Coronavirus COVID-19 Health Health Advice Health News HIV More

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    Mental Health Resources You Need To Know About During Lockdown

    You might be struggling to make ends meet, scared of contracting COVID-19; you might have lost a loved one, lost a job, or are scared of losing your current job – whatever it is, it’s no secret that the effects of this pandemic have felt like a never-ending attack on our collective mental health.
    For some, the impact could feel mild and negligible, while for others, it could lead to an almost paralysing state of depression or anxiety. Moreover, it could also lead to increased feelings of loneliness, stress, negative emotional spirals, panic attacks, other forms of mental distress and could even lead to suicidal thoughts.
    While we don’t have easily available data on the pandemic’s impact on South Africans’ mental health, a new report by Old Mutual suggests that the number of people affected by mental health disorders has increased significantly over the last few years.

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    They have paid out 59% more in psychiatric disorder claims since 2016, and their proportion of suicide claims has increased by 24% between 2018 and 2019.
    “Our overall experience with psychiatric disorders shows that most claims were for major depression,” Kerissa Naidoo, Old Mutual’s Chief Medical Officer, said in a statement.
    “Other psychiatric disorder claims are attributed to bipolar mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depressive episodes, adjustment disorders, and stress.”
    READ MORE: How To Get More Comfortable Talking About Your Mental Health
    The group says that most claimants, 83%, were adults aged between 30 and 50 years old – prime working age. Interestingly, 70% of these claimants were women.
    As we’ve all retreated to working from and staying home, with little to no physical social interaction, one can only imagine how much more of an impact on mental health the last couple of months have had on South Africans.
    “Whilst our statistics reflect our experiences in 2019, we can be certain that the current global pandemic will only compound matters,” Naidoo continued.
    Feelings of depression and anxiety in lockdown and isolation can make it feel like there’s no one to reach out to, but that’s not true. As we’ve heard a million times over, we’re fortunate enough to live in the most digitised era in history. Amongst other things, this has opened unconventional, but effective, channels and avenues where one can access resources to work through mental health issues.
    Here are some resources you can make use of if you feel like you need to talk to someone:
    Speak to someone for free
    The South African Anxiety and Depression Group, which is the continent’s largest mental health support and advocacy group, offers free telephonic consultations with expert counsellors and psychologists as and when you need it.
    Reach them here: 0800 12 13 14
    Another free counselling resource is Adcock Ingram’s Depression and Anxiety Helpline. Sponsored by the said pharmaceutical manufacturer, this support line offers immediate help for people that are overwhelmed by depression, anxiety and other issues related to mental health.
    Reach them here: 0800 70 80 90
    If you’re not necessarily looking to speak to a professional but want to speak to someone who feels like a friend, there’s a free service for that called Befrienders South Africa. With this service, you don’t have to disclose your identity; it’s there to lend a listening ear.
    Reach them here: 051 444 5691 (national line) / 051 444 5000 (Bloemfontein line) / 041 922 0068 (Uitenhage line)
    For suicidal emergency, call the Cipla SADAG Mental Health Line: 0800 567 567
    Book a virtual consultation
    Before COVID-19 hit, virtual consultations with psychologists were only allowed where a relationship between the psychologist and patient already existed, but this has since been overturned by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). In April, the statutory body announced that due to COVID-19, first-time consultations could take place virtually.
    This is something worth taking advantage of RN. Ask around in your family/friendship circles if anyone has a psychologist they’d recommend, or look online and set up a virtual consultation. Alternatively, check out the BetterHelp website. This platform will help you find affordable online counselling with a licensed therapist.
    If you have COVID-19 specific concerns, Discovery and Vodacom recently partnered to launch a free virtual healthcare platform. The platform offers access to reliable information, risk screening and, when necessary, free online medical consultations. All you have to do is register on either the Discovery or Vodacom sites and follow the prompts.
    Find nearby help
    If you feel that your mental health has deteriorated to a point of no return and you want to access nearby help, visit the TherapyRoute website. This online resource will help you find nearby mental health services. This includes everything from psychologists and social workers to community clinics, NGOs and psychiatric hospitals.
    [WATCH] Women’s Health SA chats to experts about dealing with anxiety and mental health in an ever-changing world…

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    READ MORE ON: Coronavirus Health Mental Health More

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    So, Is COVID-19 Actually Airborne Or Not?

    Recently, the conversation around COVID-19 has been centred on how the virus is spread. While it was initially thought that the virus is not airborne, that sentiment has slowly been changing, with mounting evidence pointing to the airborne nature of the disease.
    This came after a letter, co-signed by 239 scientists and engineers, was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, calling for public health agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), to consider the possibility of the virus being airborne.
    In their letter, they wrote:
    “We appeal to the medical community and to the relevant national and international bodies to recognise the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19. There is significant potential for inhalation exposure to viruses in microscopic respiratory droplets at short to medium distances (up to several metres, or room scale), and we are advocating for the use of preventative measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission.”
    The letter went on to say that this is a matter of urgency now as countries are starting to ease lockdown regulations.
    The WHO’s position
    The WHO has confirmed that airborne transmission can happen in healthcare settings where specific medical procedures, called aerosol-generating procedures, generate very small droplets called aerosols. As for the general public, it’s not yet 100% certain.
    READ MORE: COVID-19: Here’s How Risky Normal Activities Are, According To Doctors
    “Outside of medical facilities, some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmissions, combined with droplet transmission, for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes,” the WHO said.
    “In these events, short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces of a prolonged period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out.”
    What if it is airborne?
    The letter clearly outlines that airborne transmission is especially acute in indoor or enclosed environments, particularly those that are crowded and have inadequate ventilation relative to the number of occupants and extended exposure periods.
    “For example, airborne transmission appears to be the only plausible explanation for several super-spreading events investigated which occurred under such conditions and others where recommended precautions, related to direct droplet transmissions, were followed,” the letter says.
    READ MORE: How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies, Or A Possible COVID-19 Infection?
    They agree that there is incomplete evidence, but add that there is more than enough supporting evidence so that the precautionary principle should apply. Their suggested precautionary measures (over and above those already existing) include:
    Provide sufficient and effective ventilation (clean outdoor air, minimise recirculating air) particularly in public buildings, workplace environments, schools, hospitals and aged care homes.
    Supplement general ventilation with airborne infection controls such as local exhaust, high-efficiency air filtration and germicidal ultraviolet lights.
    Avoid overcrowding, particularly in public transport and public buildings.
    It might not be clear whether an airborne transmission is something to be concerned about as yet, but with a virus as unpredictable as this one, taking precautionary measures more seriously, including avoiding indoor spaces with a lot of people in them, should be the order of the day.
    Russia completes pre-clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine
    Just recently, Russia’s Vektor State Research Centre for Virology and Biotechnologies announced that it had successfully completed pre-clinical trials of a vaccine for COVID-19.
    “Colleagues have finished pre-clinical trials [and] they were successful. We practically have all the grounds to be sure that things will go as we promised [meaning] that we plan to begin clinical trials on July 15,” Anna Popova, chief of the Russian sanitary watchdog, said on Friday.
    READ MORE: 7 Ways To Make Sure Your Salon Visit Is Safe During Lockdown
    This announcement was widely celebrated across the world, including South Africa, with citizens taking to Twitter to share how ‘excited’ they were about the prospect of finally putting an end to the pandemic. But the minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize quickly reminded South Africans that the road ahead is still long.
    “You have to do work at the laboratories, do research, move to animal studies, and it passes that, you have to move to a human trial,” he said in a statement.
    “The same trial is going on in the US, UK, Brazil and other countries. We’re not yet at a point where we’ve got a vaccine ready – it is good news, but it is still a work in progress and it’s still early days.”
    SA could have vaccine as early as 2021
    One of the 19 vaccines being tested on humans globally is happening right here in South Africa. Led by professor of vaccinology at the University of Witwatersrand Dr Shabir Madhi, it’s believed that if everything goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready early 2021.
    “A vaccine could be made commercial as early as the beginning of next year, but it is completely dependent on the results of the clinical trials.”

    READ MORE ON: Coronavirus COVID-19 Health Health Advice More

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    How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies, Or A Possible COVID-19 Infection?

    Allergy season is upon us! And having to deal with the heightened symptoms while also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic can be both daunting and anxiety-fuelling. So, it’s not weird to have a few questions about allergies right now…
    Fortunately, the Allergy Foundation of South Africa recently hosted a webinar specifically dedicated to answering questions around allergies and COVID-19 with paediatrician and allergologist Dr Candice Royal. Let’s look at some of the most important take-outs from the conversation.
    Q: How can I tell if my symptoms are from my allergy or a possible COVID-19 infection?
    Dr Candice Royal: “Some allergy symptoms overlap with the symptoms of COVID-19. If you’ve got nasal congestion, a sore throat and a cough, you might think you have COVID-19. This is why it’s always important to make sure your rhinitis is under control and that you prioritise taking specific measures to ease your allergy symptoms so you can limit the diagnostic confusion.”
    Q: My allergies make wearing a mask uncomfortable. Is there an alternative?
    DCR: “Just to go over the basics – a mask is worn mostly to prevent your droplets from being spread to other people. So, the primary intention isn’t to protect you, but to protect others. It’s a very important public health measure to reduce infection.
    “But should you find wearing a mask difficult, the alternative that could be considered is wearing a visor/face shield instead.
    “The real question is probably why your allergic rhinitis is out of control and whether there are any simple adjustments to your treatment plan that could further ease your symptoms. I’d suggest getting in touch with your doctor and going over everything again to make sure your management treatment is as efficient as possible and to also make sure you don’t have excess allergen exposure.”
    Q: I carry an EpiPen for my allergy. If I get a severe form of COVID-19 and go into respiratory distress, would the use of my EpiPen help my breathing like it would during anaphylaxis?
    DCR: “An EpiPen is an adrenaline auto-injector and its role is to offer emergency treatment following exposure to an allergen that has produced a severe reaction. It works by giving you a quick dose of adrenaline, which helps to shut off that allergic reaction.
    “So, this is an entirely different mechanism to the respiratory distress that’s caused by illnesses such as COVID-19. Unfortunately, an EpiPen is not going to help should you have respiratory symptoms of another cause – it is specifically for treating anaphylaxis or severe reactions.”
    Q: I have eczema and sanitisers are proving to be an issue for my skin because of the frequent use. What can I do to make this better?
    DCR: “Consider washing your hands with water and a glycerin soap more often than using a hand sanitiser. Of course, as you go into shopping malls or to work, you often have to use a hand sanitiser, and should that be the case – make sure to use emollient cream immediately afterward.
    “Carry emollients with you everywhere you go so that you can make sure that your hands are always being moisturised after using a hand sanitiser.”
    READ MORE: 9 Doctor-Approved Products That Will Help Relieve Your Eczema
    Q: My son was supposed to start peanut desensitisation just before lockdown, but we’ve put a hold on it for now. Is there a timeframe for this in terms of age?
    DCR: “It does seem that the younger you are when you start that process, the more effective it is. But we don’t have an age limit per se. We have seen teenagers go through this process successfully. But the earlier you start, the better.”
    Q: Is there a specific diet that can help with asthma and allergies during this time?
    DCR: “In terms of asthma, there isn’t a specific diet that we recommend. Obviously, if you’ve got a food allergy then you’re going to exclude that specific food type from your diet. But in terms of a healthy diet, it’s not anything complicated. It’s about having a diet with a wide variety of good fruits and vegetables and consuming adequate sources of all the essential macro and micronutrients.
    “We can’t recommend a specific diet for people with asthma and allergies – it’s just about applying general health measures that would apply to the general population.”
    Q: I have idiopathic anaphylaxis [severe allergic reactions with no obvious cause] and suffer attacks three to four times a year. I’m often prescribed steroids and antihistamines for long periods after each episode – do these medicines increase my risk for COVID-19?
    DCR: “It does appear to be the case that steroids can make one more vulnerable to getting infections in general. However, we don’t yet have good evidence that being on steroids makes one more vulnerable to a COVID-19 infection, or a more severe case of COVID-19. We do [however] have evidence that people on steroids may shed the virus for longer.
    “Remember that it’s always better to be on your controlling medication than not, so if that’s the medication you need, it’s advised that you stay on it and not wean yourself off it.”
    Q: I have allergies to paracetamol and anti-inflammatories and I’m worried that if I get COVID-19, it will be difficult to treat. What should I do?
    DCR: “Having an allergy to medications doesn’t make you more vulnerable to either infection or severe COVID-19. But when you have allergies to the medications that we commonly use to treat the symptoms, I’d advise that you speak with your doctor to find an alternative.”
    Q: How should I approach the treatment of my allergies, generally?
    DCR: “It’s important to understand that allergic disorders don’t occur in isolation and need to be treated holistically. They have an impact on one’s entire emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. For example, having eczema is not just having a skin disorder – it has huge implications on how one feels. Itching and scratching all the time makes one feel irritable, restless, unable to get quality sleep, exhausted and so on.
    “So, it’s important – especially in these anxiety-filled times – to understand that you shouldn’t only focus on the physical management of your symptoms, but also prioritise looking after your emotional and psychological health.”

    READ MORE ON: Allergies Coronavirus COVID-19 Health Health Advice More