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By Beth Thorp, Guest Columnist

The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans – just over 20 percent of the adult population – have chronic pain. About 20 million have “high-impact chronic pain,” which is defined as pain severe enough to frequently limit life or work activities. I am one of the “high-impact” ones.

For a long time, I did not believe that I had enough expertise or a unique enough story to share my experiences with pain, except with those closest to me. But because of how often people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it!”; I began to believe that sharing my struggle to live with and manage chronic pain might help others who also suffer from it.

Like many others with severe chronic pain, I have had experience with using opioids. Given the crackdown on doctors prescribing these medications, I felt that sharing all the other skills I use to manage my pain might be useful to other patients.

I believe there are three aspects of our health which must be addressed if we are to have full and productive lives despite our pain. These are physical health, mental health and socialization.

Three-Part Model for Pain ManagementPhysical Health

When pain begins, the first and logical area to address is our physical health. It’s important to me to rely not just on pain medication, but a wide range of other modalities. These include:

  • Physical therapy, including heat, ice, ultrasound, stretching, exercises, TENS

  • Injections of steroids and analgesics

  • Neuromodulation devices such as spinal cord stimulators

  • The use of support tools, such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.

Some activities, like stretching, might be easy to incorporate into your daily life. Exercise might take some trial and error to find types that help with pain and that you enjoy. Others, like using a wheelchair, might take overcoming the burden of stigma.

For me, the idea of getting a wheelchair was initially out of the question. But then my pain doctor suggested that it would be better to use one to travel in places like airports, museums and zoos so that I can better enjoy the experience, and have less pain during and afterwards. Once I thought of it this way, it was an easier choice.

Mental Health

As my pain persisted, despite many physical and medical treatments, it became clear to me that I needed some additional resources to help my mind and spirit. These treatments used to be considered outside of traditional Western medicine. Additionally, these methods often require out-of-pocket payment. Some examples are:

  • Counseling, talk therapy, hypnosis, Reiki

  • Meditation and mindfulness

  • Participation in activities designed to distract from the pain

  • Antidepressant medications

  • Focusing on the positive

There are other therapies which address both physical and mental health, including yoga, Pilates, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and tai chi.

I rely more on distraction than on any other technique. If one activity does not work, then I will go to another. When I first heard about distraction, I did not believe that it would work — but it really does. Even getting out of one environment into another can help.

I am still working on the technique of focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I know this sounds a bit Pollyanna, but I believe it is important to move ahead with a good quality of life. The goal is to be grateful for the things I can do, not ruminating on the things I have lost or can no longer do. Some examples of this are:

  • Take “one day at a time.” If today is bad, tomorrow is likely to be better

  • Try new activities that fit within the scope of your current abilities

  • Learn new skills or explore new areas to learn by taking classes, in person or online

  • Find others who suffer from chronic pain and share ideas for living better

  • Most of all, don’t give up!


The longer pain goes on, the more isolating it can be. I’ve experienced loneliness and solitude. Our world gets smaller as the number of things we can do shrinks and the things we can do become very restricted.

One of the hardest things for many of us is to ask for help. Similarly, we don’t want to be a burden, so we don’t reach out to ask our friends and family to come over and spend time with us.

In order to maintain a good quality of life, we must find our own ways to become or stay involved with others. For example:

  • Phone calls or Skype, FaceTime and Zoom meetings with family and friends

  • Group activities such as book clubs, crafting circles, games nights, group lunches

To address mental health as well as socialization, joining a religious group, community organization or chronic pain support group can be very helpful. You can also combine socialization and physical health with activities such as exercise classes or Silver Sneaker programs.

Three Changes Needed

I believe that there are three changes to our healthcare system which must be pursued in order to respond to the opioid crisis in ways that help patients with pain, not hurt them.

First, don’t punish patients by removing access to opioid medications. For some of us, they are the only thing that works. Work with us to help us take them responsibly.

Second, the pharmaceutical industry should develop safe, effective and non-addictive pain medications for those of us with high impact chronic pain.

Third, insurance companies should be required to pay for alternative treatments such as massage, acupuncture, yoga, etc. that are often recommended as alternatives to opioids. Those options are not really available to most patients with pain.

Chronic pain may last a lifetime. Thus, it is critical to find ways to live a full and happy life despite the pain. Different methods work for different people. I believe that the most important thing is to try everything you can. If one doesn’t work, try another. Be sure to include physical, mental and social solutions. And try to stay as positive as possible. That’s how I do it. You can do it too!

When pain begins, the first and logical area to address is our physical health. It’s important to me to rely not just on pain medication, but a wide range of other modalities. These include:



NGO network demands COP26 is postponed due to rising COVID cases, vaccine inequality, expensive travel- Technology News, Firstpost

tech2 News StaffSep 09, 2021 19:59:56 IST A global network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have released a statement asking that the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) be postponed due to the surge in new cases around the world as well as the very apparent unequal distribution of vaccines. Loading… The […]



tech2 News StaffSep 09, 2021 19:59:56 IST

A global network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have released a statement asking that the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) be postponed due to the surge in new cases around the world as well as the very apparent unequal distribution of vaccines.

The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a network of more than 1500 civil society organisations from over 130 countries that are working together to fight climate emergencies.

After being postponed due to the pandemic, COP26 is being held this year in November.

COP26 is a global climate summit that focuses on bringing together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change. It was originally scheduled to take place from 9-19 November 2020 in Glasgow, UK. However, on 28 May 2020, it was decided that the summit will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COP Bureau announced “In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible. Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.”

They said the climate summit will be held in 2021 from 1-12 November in the same location – Glasgow, UK.

According to estimates, around 200 heads of state and governments are expected to attend the summit along with thousands of delegates, civil society members and members of the media.

The reason CAN asked that COP26 be postponed is because they believe it is impossible to hold a safe, inclusive and just global climate conference by November with such a large gathering. They also believe the pure logistics of the event, to make it safe, is insufficient due to the “failure to support the access to vaccines to millions of people in poor countries, the rising costs of travel and accommodation, including for quarantine in and outside of the UK and the uncertainty in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It will also exclude, they believe, the delegates, campaigners, media personnel from countries that are a part of the UK’s 60 odd countries that are part of its ‘red list’.

Britain’s COP26 president, Alok Sharma, released a statement stating the country will fund the quarantine stays of those who are arriving from the red list countries. Ministers have also said that vaccines will be made available for any delegate who needs one, reported BBC.

He said that the Britain government is also offering to “fund the required quarantine hotel stays for registered delegates arriving from red list areas and to vaccinate accredited delegates who would be unable otherwise to get vaccinated.”

However, delegates that applied for them are yet to get their jabs. The NGO group has made repeated requests to the UK Presidency for clarity around support for logistics and quarantine costs but the details have not been made public.

By excluding people from poor countries, CAN believes, it would have “serious and long-lasting implications” on the issues being discussed during these talks. Topics like climate finance, loss and damage and carbon market rules are just as important for developing countries as it is for the developed countries.

Tasneem Essop, CAN’s Executive Director said, “Our concern is that those countries most deeply affected by the climate crisis and those countries suffering from the lack of support by rich nations in providing vaccines will be left out of the talks and conspicuous in their absence at COP26.”

“There has always been an inherent power imbalance within the UN climate talks and this is now compounded by the health crisis,” she added.

Environmental groups and civil society groups have no real power to influence the outcomes of this event however act as observers and advisors to poor countries.

Sharma also stated that they are working to ensure that the delegates have an “inclusive, accessible and safe summit” at Glasgow. However, he said that it is important that these talks take place as “climate change has not taken time off.”

“Ensuring that the voices of those most affected by climate change are heard is a priority for the COP26 Presidency, and if we are to deliver for our planet, we need all countries and civil society to bring their ideas and ambition to Glasgow,” he added.

“A climate summit without the voices of those most affected by climate change is not fit for purpose,” said Mohamed Adow, a longtime observer of the talks and director of the Nairobi-based think tank Power Shift Africa.

“If COP26 goes ahead as currently planned, I fear it is only the rich countries and NGOs from those countries that would be able to attend.”

The UN rejected this demand and has stood in support of Britain carrying on with the COP26 summit as planned.

Farhan Haq, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the scientifically established urgency of combatting climate change meant a further delay of COP26 “is no longer feasible,” reported Reuters. “For now, no changes are planned, but we understand the concerns.”

“The global scientific community has made clear that climate change is now a global emergency and only an urgent and major step up in climate action can keep the goals of the Paris Agreement within reach and protect the most vulnerable countries and communities from worsening climate impacts,” he added.

Haq said UN authorities and offices are working with the British government “to make COP as safe and inclusive as possible, including offering vaccines to all participants and paying for hotel quarantine costs where quarantine is required.”

Recently, more than 220 leading journals published an editorial warning everyone that global warming cannot be put on the back burner while the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the past 20 years, heat-related mortality among people older than 65 years has increased by more than 50 percent,” it read.

“Higher temperatures have brought increased dehydration and renal function loss, dermatological malignancies, tropical infections, adverse mental health outcomes, pregnancy complications, allergies, and cardiovascular and pulmonary morbidity and mortality.”

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Nick Davatzes, Founder Of A+E Networks, History Channel, Dies At 79

Nickolas “Nick” Davatzes, a pioneer of the cable industry who oversaw the launches of A+E Networks and the History Channel, died Saturday at his home in Wilton, Conn. Davatzes became CEO of A&E Networks in December 1983, when it was formed by a merger of the Entertainment Network, owned by RCA and the Rockefeller family, and Arts Network, owned by Hearst Corp. and ABC.



By Karlene Lukovitz

16 hours ago

Cover picture for the articleNickolas “Nick” Davatzes, a pioneer of the cable industry who oversaw the launches of A+E Networks and the History Channel, died Saturday at his home in Wilton, Conn. Davatzes became CEO of A&E Networks in December 1983, when it was formed by a merger of the Entertainment Network, owned by RCA and the Rockefeller family, and Arts Network, owned by Hearst Corp. and ABC.


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NSA Warns Public Networks are Hacker Hotbeds

Agency warns attackers targeting teleworkers to steal corporate data.



Agency warns attackers targeting teleworkers to steal corporate data.

The U.S. National Security Agency is offering advice to security teams looking for wireless best practices to protect corporate networks and personal devices. The recommendations, while pedestrian in scope, do offer system administrators a solid cheat sheet to share with their work-from-home crowd and mobile workforces.

For starters the NSA, in a public service announcement posted on Thursday (PDF), urged security teams to be mindful of the wireless threats employees face when using Wi-Fi networks. It also lumps Bluetooth technology and Near Field Communications (NFC) into its list of worrisome protocols.

By now, café-based workers have likely mastered both public bathroom and Wi-Fi hotspot hygiene. But, for anyone who hasn’t the NSA advises: “Data sent over public Wi-Fi—especially open public Wi-Fi that does not require a password to access— is vulnerable to theft or manipulation.”

Advice also includes warnings of fake access points that can vacuum up user credentials and skim other personal data retrieved on the “evil twin” access points.

NSA Warns of Bluetooth

More interestingly, the agency cites Bluetooth as a convenient protocol for private use, but when used in public settings it can be a nasty security liability. The NSA advises turning off Bluetooth in public, lest a user be open to a range of attacks such as BlueBorne or BlueBugging – both used to access and exfiltrate corporate data on targeted devices.

Just last May, security researcher Fabian Braunlein with Positive Security identified Apple’s Send My Bluetooth exploit which allowed data to be exfiltrated from a device to an attacker-controlled Apple iCloud server.

Worrisome NFC

The NSA also touched on Near Field Communications (NFC), a handy tool for contactless payments. It said data transfer between devices using NFC can be a cybersecurity minefield of pitfalls. With just a tap data, is moved across a radio network from one device to another.

Andy Norton a cyber-risk officer with Armis told Threatpost security teams are lagging behind when it comes to securing NFC communications.

“Radio connected devices represents a huge risk blind spot for organizations,” Norton said. “These are very much the soft underbelly of information security controls –– the majority of energy, focus, and money from a cyber resilience perspective is spent on preventing attacks coming through the internet connected attack surface. Very little is being done to access the risk from near field radio connections.”

He added on just about every job his team finds a “rogue antenna device and shadow IT activity from antenna-enabled IoT devices.”

In its security bulletin, the NSA suggests:

  • Disable NFC feature when not needed (if possible).
  • Do not bring devices near other unknown electronic devices. (This can trigger automatic communication.)
  • Do not use NFC to communicate passwords or sensitive data.

“Users should consider additional security measures, including limiting/disabling device location features, using strong device passwords, and only using trusted device accessories, such as original charging cords,” said the NSA.

User Behavior Biggest Cybersecurity Challenge

The NSA’s wireless warnings, while basic, still go unheeded by too many. Sadly, the practical and basic advice still needs promoted, experts said.

“My fear is that the don’ts are ingrained, existing behaviors that are not easy to change and at times unavoidable,” Setu Kulkarni with NTT Application Security said. “For example, while it is easy to say ‘Do not bring devices near other unknown electronic devices,’ is that practical?”

Kulkarni added in an ideal world one key employee cybersecurity rule companies should have in place is keeping personal stuff of their business devices. Enforcing compliance gets much trickier.

“These tips are as relevant in 2021 as they were in 2015, but with the shift to more remote work, there are more people using public Wi-Fi,” said Tim Erlin with Tripwire. “While these tips are useful, it can be hard for the average user to understand how to implement them. There’s really a substantial amount of work here for the average user to comply with the recommended settings.”

Threatpost Webinar Series Worried about where the next attack is coming from? We’ve got your back. REGISTER NOW for our upcoming live webinar, How to Think Like a Threat Actor, in partnership with Uptycs on Aug. 17 at 11 AM EST and find out precisely where attackers are targeting you and how to get there first. Join host Becky Bracken and Uptycs researchers Amit Malik and Ashwin Vamshi on Aug. 17 at 11AM EST for this LIVE discussion.

By now, café-based workers have likely mastered both public bathroom and Wi-Fi hotspot hygiene. But, for anyone who hasn’t the NSA advises: “Data sent over public Wi-Fi—especially open public Wi-Fi that does not require a password to access— is vulnerable to theft or manipulation.”


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