The Burnout Crisis – HEALTH: THE ULTIMATE LUXURY
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, has his own ritual, which helps him manage his multi-billion-dollar business while maintaining healthy mind and body. Eating just once a day and steering clear of food almost entirely on weekends, Dorsey’s lifestyle habits have attracted a quasi-cult following.
It also places a renewed focus on wellbeing during a pandemic era that has caused mental health declines, increased work demands, and home-life challenges. With Covid-19 leaving people exhausted on several levels, the wellness-focused affluent are increasingly turning to curious treatments such as Vitamin C showers (which purify water and improve skin and hair quality) and other procedures that promise full body and mind rejuvenation.
For anyone suffering from the anxiety, fatigue or depression brought on by the coronavirus (or other) crises, this article focuses on two major items:
• A handful of exclusive facilities around the world that deliver the best of cutting-edge wellness treatments;
• Detailed (current) information on Covid-19 vaccines to enable anyone make an informed choice about staving off the virus in the first place.
The Quest for Wellness
The well-heeled can now check into clinics designed specifically to combat the effects of the coronavirus and feelings of malaise. These top wellbeing hubs go much further than conventional spas by bringing together technology, medicine and science to enhance quality of life:
Paracelsus Recovery (Zurich and London)
is one of the world’s most luxurious treatment centres. When people struggle with mental health issues (depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, phobias), the essential nutrients needed by the body to function are depleted. The Paracelsus ‘bio-chemical restoration’ treatment adopts a well-rounded plan to restore the micronutrients that the body and brain are missing. Each Paracelsus guest enjoys a luxury apartment that comes with a 24-hour live-in therapist, a psychiatrist, an on-call nurse, a personal trainer and chef, housekeeper, and limousine driver at a cost of £250,000 (four-week residential programme).
Located in London’s wealthy Mayfair district, BelleCell defines its treatments as being created with ‘molecular wellness’ in mind, to give human cells what they require to perform at their best. This state-of-the-art facility delivers a full spectrum of solutions through effective technologies, nutrition, oxygen therapies and biohacking techniques that help achieve optimal performance for health, wellbeing and beauty.
Clinique La Prairie (Montreux, Switzerland)
This clinic is renowned for its futuristic approach to wellness. Its ‘Revitalisation Premium’ programme claims to provide the world’s most advanced anti-ageing and longevity treatment, with a seven-day programme costing about £31,500 (lodging and meals inclusive). For a highly personalised diagnosis, treatments are prescribed based on the “rejuvenating science of cell therapy” and DNA testing.
COVID-19 VACCINE - KEY FACTS
In the ongoing battle to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control and achieve wellness, vaccination has been recommended as a crucial antidote. The detailed comparison below, compiled as at June 23, 2021 by Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist, Jaimie Meyer (MD, MS), gives a thorough insight into the nature of vaccines on the market.
Recommended for: Anyone 12 or older.
Dosage: Two shots, 21 days apart
Common side effects: Chills, headache, pain, tiredness, and/or redness and swelling at the injection site, all of which generally resolve within a day or two of rest, hydration, and medications like acetaminophen. (If symptoms don’t resolve within 72 hours or if you have respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath, call your doctor.) On rare occasions, mRNA vaccines have appeared to trigger anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that is treatable with epinephrine (the drug in Epipens®). For that reason, vaccination sites are required to monitor everyone for 15 minutes after their COVID-19 shot, and for 30 minutes if they have a history of severe allergies, or are taking a blood thinner.
How it works: This is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, which uses a relatively new technology. Unlike vaccines that put a weakened or inactivated disease germ into the body, the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine delivers a tiny piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus to host cells in the body, essentially giving those cells instructions, or blueprints, for making copies of spike proteins (the spikes you see sticking out of the coronavirus in pictures online and on TV). The spikes do the work of penetrating and infecting host cells. These proteins stimulate an immune response, producing antibodies and developing memory cells that will recognise and respond if the body is infected with the actual virus.
How well it works: 95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in those without prior infection. The researchers report that the vaccine was equally effective across a variety of different types of people and variables, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI)—or presence of other medical conditions. In clinical trials, the vaccine was 100% effective at preventing severe disease. In late March, a small Centre for Disease Control (CDC) study that enrolled 3,950 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers showed the vaccine to be 90% effective upon full immunisation (at least 14 days after the second dose) in real-world conditions.
How well it works on virus mutations: In early May, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be more than 95% effective against severe disease or death from the Alpha variant (first detected in the United Kingdom) and the Beta variant (first identified in South Africa) in two studies based on real-world use of the vaccine. While the efficacy against infection varied between the two studies, both also showed the vaccine provides strong protection. As far as the Delta variant (first seen in India), two studies reported by Public Health England that have not yet been peer reviewed showed that full vaccination (after two doses) is 88% effective against symptomatic disease and 96% effective against hospitalisation.
Recommended for: Adults 18 and older.
Dosage: Two shots, 28 days apart
Common side effects: Similar to the Pfizer vaccine, side effects can include chills, headache, pain, tiredness, and/or redness and swelling at the injection site, all of which generally resolve within a day or two. On rare occasions, mRNA vaccines have appeared to trigger anaphylaxis. Vaccination sites are therefore required to monitor everyone for 15 minutes after their COVID-19 shot, and for 30 minutes if they have a history of severe allergies.
How it works: Similar to the Pfizer vaccine, this is an mRNA vaccine that sends the body’s cells instructions for making a spike protein that will train the immune system to recognise it. The immune system will then attack the spike protein the next time it sees one (attached to a real SARS CoV-2 virus).
How well it works: 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in people with no evidence of previous COVID-19 infection. The vaccine appeared to have high efficacy in clinical trials among people of diverse age, sex, race, and ethnicity categories and among persons with underlying medical conditions (although, the efficacy rate drops to 86.4% for people ages 65 and older). In late March, a small CDC study that enrolled 3,950 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers showed the vaccine to be 90% effective upon full immunisation (at least 14 days after the second dose) in real-world conditions.
How well it works on virus mutations: Some research has suggested that Moderna’s vaccine may provide protection against the Alpha and Beta variants. Researchers are still studying this. While more research is needed on Moderna’s efficacy against Delta, some experts believe it may work similarly to Pfizer since both are mRNA vaccines.
VACCINE: JOHNSON & JOHNSON
Recommended for: Adults 18 and older.
Dosage: Single shot. In November, Johnson & Johnson announced it would launch a second Phase 3 clinical trial to study using two doses, two months apart, to see if that regimen will provide better protection.
Common side effects: Fatigue, fever, headache, injection site pain, or myalgia (pain in a muscle or group of muscles), all of which generally resolve within a day or two. It has had noticeably milder side effects than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) report released in late February. No one suffered an allergic reaction in clinical trials for the vaccine, according to the company.
How it works: This is a carrier vaccine, which uses a different approach from the mRNA vaccines to instruct human cells to make the SARS CoV-2 spike protein. Scientists engineer a harmless adenovirus (a common virus that, when not inactivated, can cause colds, bronchitis, and other illnesses) as a shell to carry genetic code on the spike proteins to the cells (similar to a Trojan Horse). The shell and the code can’t make you sick, but once the code is inside the cells, the cells produce a spike protein to train the body’s immune system, which creates antibodies and memory cells to protect against an actual SARS-CoV-2 infection.
How well it works: 72% overall efficacy and 86% efficacy against severe disease in the U.S.
How well it works on virus mutations: This vaccine’s effectiveness has been shown to offer protection against the Alpha variant. According to the analyses that the FDA released in late February, there was 64% overall efficacy and 82% efficacy against severe disease in South Africa, where the Beta variant was first detected. More data is needed to determine the effectiveness the vaccine against the Delta variant.
Recommended for: Adults 18 and older
Dosage: Two doses, four to 12 weeks apart
Common side effects: Tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising at the injection site, all of which generally resolve within a day or two.
How it works: Similar to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this is a carrier vaccine, made from a modified version of a harmless adenovirus. The final product contains the spike protein found in SARS-CoV-2. When that protein reaches the body’s cells, the immune system mounts a defence, creating antibodies and memory cells to protect against an actual SARS-Cov2 infection.
How well it works: AstraZeneca updated the data analysis of its phase 3 trials in March, showing its vaccine to be 76% effective at reducing the risk of symptomatic disease 15 days or more after receiving the two doses, and 100% against severe disease. The company also said the vaccine was 85% effective in preventing COVID-19 in people over 65. The company’s update came a few days after the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) expressed concern over new data AstraZeneca had submitted in advance of requesting an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the FDA. The NIAID said that data may have included outdated information, which would make its efficacy data incomplete.
How well it works on virus mutations: So far, it seems to work better against the Alpha variant than the Beta variant. A paper in early February (not yet peer-reviewed) cited 74.6% efficacy against the Alpha variant. However, the vaccine did not protect as well against mild and moderate cases in people infected with the Beta variant. Therefore, South Africa halted its rollout while scientists continue to study whether the vaccine can prevent severe illness and death in people infected with this variant. As far as the Delta variant, two recent studies (neither has been peer-reviewed) showed, respectively, that full vaccination after two doses is 60% effective against symptomatic disease and 93% effective against hospitalisation.
Recommended for: The vaccine is being studied in adults ages 18-84
Dosage: Two doses, three weeks apart
Common side effects: Injection site tenderness, fatigue, headache, muscle pain.
How it works: Unlike the mRNA and vector vaccines, this is a protein adjuvant (an adjuvant is an ingredient used to strengthen the immune response). While other vaccines trick the body’s cells into creating parts of the virus that can trigger the immune system, the Novavax vaccine takes a different approach. It contains the spike protein of the coronavirus itself but formulated as a nanoparticle, which cannot cause disease. When the vaccine is injected, this stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and T-cell immune responses.
How well it works: 90% effective against lab-confirmed, symptomatic infection and 100% against moderate and severe disease in Phase 3 trial results released in a company statement in June. The company says the vaccine was 91% protective of people in high-risk populations such as people older than 65, those with health conditions that increase risk of complication, and those in situations where they are frequently exposed to the virus. The company says the vaccine was 91% protective of people in high-risk populations such as people older than 65, those with health conditions that increase risk of complication, and those in situations where they are frequently exposed to the virus.
How well it works on virus mutations: Novavax says the vaccine is 93% effective against “predominantly circulating variants of concern and variants of interest,” and 100% against variants “not considered variants of concern/ interest.” (It’s important to note that the study was conducted in the U.S. and Mexico, when Alpha was the predominant strain in the U.S., although other variants were on the rise.) More data is needed to determine the effectiveness of Novavax against the Delta variant.
In light of the current pandemic, it comes as no surprise that there has been an exponential increase in wellbeing as a permanent lifestyle choice, as opposed to an occasional weekend spa retreat.