Letter from the Editor: Keeping hope

The past few weeks have been immensely challenging. Every single one of us has been affected by COVID-19 in some way, and the unprecedented disruption to day-to-day life, as we know it, is taking its toll — mentally and physically.

As a company, one of the biggest challenges has been adjusting to working remotely. While remote working has long been an option for the team at Medical News Today, it’s now become a necessity — one that many of us are still getting used to.

“It has been difficult to balance work and home life, as there is not a clear cut line or distinction between work hours and time to relax,” said one Editor at MNT.

“Being unable to see my colleagues, friends, and family has made me feel very isolated,” another Editor commented. “While technology certainly helps to keep us connected, it’s not a replacement for in-person interaction.”

One thing that has helped keep all of us at MNT motivated during this challenging time is our mission: Providing trustworthy, accurate health news and information to help you, our readers, live your healthiest lives. This is more important than ever.

We’ve created a COVID-19 hub that not only brings you the latest research on the illness but also includes content to help you and your loved ones stay mentally and physically healthy.

This month, you wanted to learn how to keep active while staying at home, and you were interested in our articles on virtual therapy and teletherapy, which can be great alternatives to in-person therapy during lockdown.

You’ve also been keen to hear voices from the front line. We recently spoke with a registered nurse in Chicago who talked about his experience of caring for patients with COVID-19 and how it’s impacting mental health. In another article, one physician talks about his concerns regarding the lack of hospital resources in treating patients with COVID-19.

One question that is at the forefront of our minds is — when will there be a vaccine for COVID-19? This month, we reported on one study that suggests the tuberculosis vaccine could offer some protection. Researchers plan to trial the vaccine in around 4,000 frontline medical staff in Australia.

Positive news like this is very much welcome right now, which is why we’ve started a series outlining the reasons to be hopeful. Our most recent feature explores a study from the United Kingdom that suggests a COVID-19 vaccine — which “uses a harmless chimpanzee virus to carry the fragment of SARS-CoV-2 that is required for immunity” — could be ready by fall.

While uncertainty remains, it’s important not to lose hope and to seek solace wherever possible, be it from a video chat with friends, reading a book, listening to music, or spending time in the garden. Our article on looking after your mental health during a pandemic has some useful tips. 

Next month is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’ll be providing even more information on how to look after your mental well-being during this difficult time.

From all of us here at MNT, stay safe.

Honor Whiteman, Editorial Director

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