Covid vs Santa, who won?

THE GIFT OF GIVING

Can we open them yet?

The season of giving is here, guys! Everyone loves getting presents, but did you know that the act of giving one can bring about a whole bunch of benefits for you too?

Presents for positivity

Studies have shown that giving gifts produces a stronger and longer-lasting sense of happiness than getting them. It can also reduce stress levels and boost our self-esteem — because who doesn’t feel at least a tiny little bit better about themselves when they do something nice for other people?

If you’re giving gifts to people you know, it can also help to strengthen the bonds between you (unless you’re really really bad at buying gifts).

Giving gifts can lead to a longer life

Doing things for other people can also have a positive effect on your physical health. Studies show that volunteering with charities is linked with a lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and even early death.

Even donating blood seems to hurt less for people compared to having a blood test done despite the thicker needles and larger amounts of blood involved in blood donations.

So do yourself a favour, readers, and get everyone you love (and maybe some strangers as well) a gift or two — there’s no need to wait for a special occasion. And if you’re a little tight on cash, a DIY gift or even a card works just as well!

SNIPPETS

5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣  Dining with your dog: Chef Justin Quek and Furry’s Kitchen have produced gourmet dog food meals for both humans and their animal companions to enjoy.

2️⃣  Good job, everyone! Singapore has ranked first on a list of most effective healthcare systems.

3️⃣  It’s our turn now! The first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Singapore.

4️⃣ Immigrations check: Companies in Singapore are trying out digital health passports for business travellers.

5️⃣ We’re Prepared: MOH has unveiled their $25 billion plan to deal with any future outbreaks.

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣  Don’t panic! WHO urges all to stay calm regarding the new COVID-19 strain in the UK.

2️⃣  Pandemic career moves: Universities in the USA are seeing an increased number of applications to their health- and medicine-related programmes.

3️⃣ Bad news for Thailand: A new outbreak of COVID-19 cases near Bangkok is interfering with Thailand’s plans to ease travel restrictions

4️⃣ The beginning of “Veganuary”? Celebrities in the UK are encouraging people to cut out meat and dairy next month to fight climate change.

5️⃣ It’s everywhere! Antarctica now has its first ever case of COVID-19.

CAN THE COLD CAUSE A COLD?

Baby, it’s cold outside

Okay, this is Singapore we’re talking about, so it’s not really that cold. But with all this rain, it’s been a little colder than it usually is — you might even have been told to wear a jacket so you won’t fall ill. So let’s talk about the complicated truth behind the common belief that spending time in the cold will end in you getting a cold.

A jacket won’t help

Some people think that you can get a cold just by feeling cold, but it’s actually less about you being cold and more about how viruses behave in cold weather.

Lots of viruses remain infectious longer and multiply faster in lower temperatures. This is made worse when the air around you is dry in addition to being cold. 

Breathing in cold air can also throw off your immune system, making you more susceptible to any viruses hanging around.

How to actually avoid a cold

If you do find that you’ve been falling sick more often, here are some things you can do to combat that:

  • Get some sun! Singapore’s sun isn’t always so pleasant, but a daily dose of Vitamin D is great for keeping viruses at bay.
  • Wash your hands often to get rid of any bacteria or germs on them and try not to touch your face too much!
  • Make sure you’re getting your vitamins whether that’s through supplements or just keeping your diet nutrient-rich.

Have a runny nose? Check out this ENT doctor’s tell-all on rhinitis, or sensitive nose, in Singapore!

SHOWER THOUGHTS

Weird & Wonderful

  1. You’ve probably never watched an entire movie because whenever you blink, you miss a little bit of it each time.
  2. Having too many birthday parties will kill you.
  3. The fact that people can see when we’re typing in chats is a highly unnecessary anxiety booster.
  4. Some cells have a 3-week life span, so everyone is a little dead inside.
  5. 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in soup.
PICTURE OF THE DAY

Image by bbc.co.uk

Santa’s coming to town!

After he tests negative for COVID-19, of course. 

Pictured above are two children in Seattle showing Santa Claus their wish lists. Sounds like a regular Christmas in the USA — except this year, Santa’s safely ensconced behind plastic sheets or plexiglass windows.

Some Santas are even taking the tradition online and meeting kids virtually through Zoom calls or other similar platforms.

Visiting Santa Claus in malls is an age-old tradition for American children, and Santa Claus impersonators there have been around since the 1800s. With the extreme way the coronavirus has affected the United States, it’s great to see today’s Santas carrying on this American tradition in a safe way. 

(Unlike another Santa we previously reported on, who did not take similar precautions.)

Vanessa

Vanessa is a go-getter and knowledge-seeker with way too many hobbies. On weekends, she can be found enjoying a lie-in and pretending she doesn't have anything else she should be doing.