Where are we going with Covid 19 and its different variants?

Andrea Smadja-C19-Tamar news

Since March 2020, the world has been shaken by this pandemic which has affected everyone, all countries, all continents, all religions, babies, children, teenagers, men, women, parents, grandparents,religions, babies, children, teenagers, men, women, parents, grandparents, patients, doctors , the poor, the rich .


The powerful of this world (Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron) and the anonymous.

The highly respected Mcgill University in Montreal, Canada has published a comprehensive study on the impact of Covid 19 on various
physical and psychological aspects.

Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Featured expert – Economic impacts

In the last year, entrepreneurs faced tremendous challenges: a drop in demand, skittish investors, disruptions of supply chains, and a shift to virtual work. Yet, many start-ups survived and are well-positioned for growth as the economy re-opens. To move forward, entrepreneurs need to consider local sourcing, mixed-channel retailing, and a hybrid office.

– Elena Obukhova, Assistant Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management

Addictions

Jeffrey Derevensky, James McGill Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology and Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-risk Behaviours

“During this period of quarantine when children and teenagers are left with a lot of unstructured time on their hands, it’s especially challenging to limit their playing online internet games. Moderation is the key.”

Jeffrey Derevensky is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology and Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-risk Behaviours. He is an international expert in the area of behavioural addictions and was on the World Health Organization’s committee which helped identify Internet Gaming Disorder as a recognizable disorder.

[email protected] (English)

Rachel Rabin, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

“During these uncertain times, some people may use addictive substances to help cope with stress, anxiety and depression. While initially, it may appear that drugs are reducing these feelings, in fact, they can actually exacerbate them, leading people to increase their drug consumption. This can be especially worrisome for individuals who may be at increased risk of developing an addictive disorder or for those in recovery.”

Rachel Rabin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a researcher at the Douglas Research Centre. Her research program focuses on developing a better understanding of the neurocognitive and social cognitive dysfunction in individuals with substance use disorders in both psychiatric (e.g., schizophrenia) and non-psychiatric populations.

[email protected] (English)

Food security and nutrition

Stéphanie Chevalier, Associate Professor, School of Human Nutrition

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our eating behaviours, diet quality, and physical activity on different levels. Some people report more time for home cooking and improving their diet. Many others have a poor diet due to limited resources, cooking skills, and access to fresh foods, or due to periods of anxiety, depression and isolation. We need high-quality data to document how eating behaviours and food intake are affected and by which determinants, as these may have long-term consequences on health outcomes.”

Stéphanie Chevalier is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition and an Associate Member of the Department of Medicine. Her research studies the processes that lead to the loss of muscle mass and strength with aging, and other conditions such as cancer, viral pandemics and diabetes, that may interfere with normal functioning. Her latest initiative, the COVIDiet survey, aims to understand how the eating habits of Canadians are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

[email protected] (English, French)

Daiva Nielsen, Assistant Professor, School of Human Nutrition

Little information is currently available to help us understand how Quebecers organized themselves around getting food during the strict closures and how this experience might have been similar or different in various regions, while being mindful of economic factors that play a role in shaping challenges. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to be a societal issue for some time to come, this data will be valuable to inform food access strategies to help us prepare in the event of future outbreaks.”

Daiva Nielsen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Nutrition. She is currently leading a study to compare household food procurement experiences across different regions in Quebec, including those more affected by COVID-19.

[email protected] (English)

Anne-Julie Tessier, PhD candidate, School of Human Nutrition

“Diet ranks as the second leading risk factor for chronic diseases including cardiovascular, diabetes, chronic kidney diseases and cancer in Canada, smoking ranking first. It is unclear how food intake, eating habits and other lifestyle behaviours have changed and will continue to be impacted as the pandemic progresses. Using an artificial intelligence-enhanced food tracker app, Canadians are capturing their eating in a fun and easy way. Our goal is to understand which factors such as stress, food access, working from home, possibly modify diet and whether it is linked to the incidence of chronic diseases.”

Anne-Julie Tessier is a registered dietitian and a PhD candidate in the School of Human Nutrition. She is currently collaborating with Stéphanie Chevalier, Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition, on the COVIDiet survey, a study that aims to understand how the eating habits of Canadians have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

[email protected]mcgill.ca (English, French)

Immune system

Gerald Batist, Full Professor, Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology

“In order to manage the COVID-19-related tsunami of cancer patients delayed or otherwise under managed during the pandemic, we will depend on research and innovation; the same way we have found our way through COVID-19.”

Gerald Batist is a Full Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology and the Director of the McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer and the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. His research programs are in novel therapeutics, and he’s made significant contributions to the development of new cancer treatments.

[email protected] (English, French)

Judith Mandl, Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology

Bat species have been implicated as the reservoir hosts of numerous zoonotic viruses, including Ebola, Marburg, Hendra, Nipah, rabies and coronaviruses. The immune responses of bats to these viruses results in very different infection outcomes compared to humans (e.g. no obvious clinical signs of infection in bats as opposed to sometimes very high lethality in humans, depending on the virus in question). Understanding how and why the immune response differs from animals to humans could provide us with better tools to prevent disease in humans when a new virus crosses over from its wild animal reservoir.

Judith Mandl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and holds the Canada Research Chair in Immune Cell Dynamics. Her research has made important contributions to the field of HIV pathogenesis, demonstrating the absence of ongoing type I interferon production in a natural host for SIV and its impact on downstream adaptive responses. Her current work focuses on T cell recirculation in mouse models of infection or immunodeficiency, making use of cutting-edge research tools that allow linking individual cell-level to population-level processes, including intravital 2-photon and confocal microscopy.

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Giorgia Sulis, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

The abuse of antibiotics was already a significant problem prior to the COVID-19 crisis across countries and across levels of care. However, in low- and middle-income countries, the pandemic is further exacerbating this alarming issue, contributing to fueling the parallel pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.

Giorgia Sulis is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. Her research interests encompass various global health areas, and primarily tuberculosis, antibiotic usage and vaccines, with a particular focus on low and middle-income countries.

[email protected] (English, Italian)

Marc Tewfik, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

COVID-19 has raised public awareness of the importance of the sense of smell: affected individuals that lose their ability to smell quickly realize that it is a key part of many of our daily pleasures, such as enjoying good food. Perhaps more importantly though, it is an important mechanism for keeping us safe from harm.”

Marc Tewfik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Director of the Advanced Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Fellowship program. His research focuses on the role of nasal immunity and its interaction with viruses and bacteria in chronically diseased and healthy sinuses, surgical simulation training for endoscopic sinus surgery for all levels of learners, as well as the repair of large surgical defects in the nose.

[email protected] (English, French)

Infectious diseases and viruses

Anne Gatignol, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine

COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 remains a pandemic that continues to affect and kill people worldwide. The patients are better treated and some repurposed treatments are moderately effective against COVID-19. The focus is now on the search of specific treatments targeting the virus and vaccines to provide a protective immunity.”

Anne Gatignol is Full Professor in the Department of Medicine and an Associate Member of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She teaches virology and viral pathogenesis, including emerging viruses. Her research is mainly on virus-cell interactions applied to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the Zika virus.

[email protected] (English, French)

Marina Klein, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

“Health care workers are exhausted and morale is low, as many have been exposed to the virus or are already infected. None of us wants another hard lockdown, but we’re really in a very precarious situation at the moment. The partial measures in place since September have been like a slow torture and have not prevented the widespread community transmission that is now threatening our health system. The alternative solution, to do something that’s very hard, very difficult such has been shown to work in Australia, is likely to be much more effective.”

Marina Klein is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Research Director in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Viral Illness at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). As the Canada Research Chair in Clinical and Epidemiologic Studies of Chronic Viral Infections in Vulnerable Populations, she is documenting the impact of new therapies on health outcomes and using evidence generated to advocate for policy change.

[email protected] (English, French)

Matthew Oughton, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

As the majority of the population presumably remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, relaxing mitigation measures that have been in place for months necessarily come with some risk. Those risks are manageable, provided that adequate testing and contact tracing continue to be performed and need to be balanced against the many regular activities that our population requires in order to function effectively.”

Matthew Oughton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and a specialist in infectious diseases and medical microbiology. He is based at the Jewish General Hospital, where he supervises the bacteriology and molecular microbiology laboratories. His research interests are focused on the use of molecular techniques to improve clinical diagnostic assays, with relevant publications on C. difficile, MRSA, influenza, and other pathogens.

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Raymond Tellier, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

The current episode, involving a virus jumping from another animal species to humans, similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), is a classic episode of an ‘emerging virus’. We should note that since SARS, there have been other instances involving coronaviruses, such as the MERS in the Middle East, SADS (a disease affecting swine) in China and now the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

Raymond Tellier recently joined the Infectious Diseases team at the McGill University Health Centre and was previously at the University of Calgary, where he remains an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He was part of the research team who first identified the SARS associated coronavirus in Toronto following the outbreak in 2003, in collaboration with several groups in Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver.

[email protected] (English, French)

Donald Vinh, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

“Recent research shows that curfews have proven to be among some of the most effective interventions, when used with other lockdown measures, to combat COVID-19 because of the age demographic they target and the message they send.”

Donald Vinh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and is an Associate Member in the Departments of Human Genetics and Experimental Medicine. His research focuses on identifying genetic defects of the immune system that explain why certain individuals are prone to infections.

[email protected] (English, French)

Brian Ward, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine

Since the initial outbreaks, Canada, most of Europe, and several countries in Asia have been doing remarkably well in keeping a ‘lid’ on the novel coronavirus. The virus is still circulating but at a relatively low level and the burden of cases has shifted to younger age groups. It is not at all clear what will happen when schools re-open (if schools re-open) in September. That being said, the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is not going to ‘go away’ until we have effective vaccines.”

Brian Ward is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, an Associate Member of the Centre for Host-Parasite Interactions and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). His research focuses on the development and evaluation of novel virus-like particle vaccines (e.g. influenza, measles, etc.) in both young and elderly subjects, international health issues with a particular focus on factors that influence HIV transmission, virus-nutritional interactions, and the development of new diagnostic tests for parasitic diseases.

[email protected] (English, French, Spanish)

Mental health

Danilo Bzdok , Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

A deepened understanding of the consequences of social isolation for mental and physical health will be key in the years after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Danilo Bzdok is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He holds the Canada CIFAR AI Chair and is involved with the Mila Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. His latest scholarly work explores the wide-ranging, negative consequences that social isolation has on our psychological well-being and physical health, including decreased life span.

[email protected] (English, French, German, Italian)

Patricia Dobkin, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

Physician resilience can be an antidote to burnout and distress. It can be fostered through both ‘bottom up’ measures, such as physicians finding meaning in their work and being able to embody mindfulness, and ‘top down’ approaches, such as directors showing appreciation and providing support (e.g. PPE) for physicians. COVID-19 is challenging due to its uncertainty, unpredictability and various unknowns. Working together, taking care of ourselves, and maintaining realistic hope will help us all get through these turbulent times.

Patricia Dobkin is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is affiliated with the McGill Programs in Whole Person Care, where she offers doctors and allied health care professionals Mindfulness-Based Medical Practice workshops and courses. Her research focuses on physician well-being and improving patient care.

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Joe Flanders, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

After a long, difficult winter, we are finally starting to see a path toward normalcy. This summer should be one of joy and gratitude for many of us as public health restrictions are lifted, and we reconnect with our loved ones and re-engage with our cherished activities. It won’t be easy for everyone though; change in itself can be stressful, even if it’s positive. Some of us have gotten used to a safer, more constrained lifestyle and the re-opening plan may be received with some anxiety. In addition, there is reason to expect COVID-19 to be with us for some time, so we need to be prepared for additional outbreaks, targeted lock downs and booster shots later this year and next.”

Joe Flanders is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and the founder and director of the MindSpace Clinic, a Montreal-based full-service clinic promoting well-being in individuals, organizations, and communities. He offers Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to individuals, groups, and organizations.

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Reut Gruber, Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is especially important for everyone to establish and follow good sleep habits so they get healthy sleep. Stressors that contribute to insomnia are amplified during the pandemic due to lifestyle changes, and thoughts and feelings that make people worry or feel anxious at night. People suffering from insomnia can seek the help of licensed psychologists with expertise in behavioural interventions for sleep disorders. It is important to note that certifications from institutes or organizations that are not part of a professional society (such as sleep ‘coaches’ or ‘consultants’ ) are usually not regulated and are not licensed or trained in behavioural sleep medicine.”

Reut Gruber is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the Attention, Behaviour and Sleep Laboratory at the Douglas Research Centre. Her research focuses on three themes as they relate to pediatric sleep: ADHD, academic performance, and mental health.

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Jason Harley, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery

Anxiety isn’t the only emotion that can negatively impact the quality of our thinking and responsible behavior. As numbers continue to improve in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, we must also be vigilant of the influence that relief can have in directing our attention and influencing the way we make sense of COVID-19-related information. Like most things, relief is good in the right dosage because too much can lead to overconfidence, selectively attending to pandemic-related information, and adopting behaviors before they are advised for our and others’ safety.”

Jason Harley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, an Associate Member of the Institute for Health Sciences Education and a Junior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). They are currently conducting research to investigate coping strategies health care workers are using to deal with stress during the pandemic, assess their effectiveness and use that information to recommend new measures to protect the mental health of health care professionals. In collaboration with the SAILS Lab, they are also a developing and testing public education tools to enhance COVID-19 health and media literacy with a special focus on the role of emotion regulation in promoting public understanding and adaptive health behaviors.

[email protected] (English, French)

Ross Otto, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

While the current pandemic restrictions are rather strict and limit many types of activities, we should still expect to see person-to-person variability in the ways we perceive the riskiness of less restricted activities, and consequently, the extent to which we engage in these activities – for example, international travel or taking a walk with a friend.”

Ross Otto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. He studies decision-making, and more particularly, why we sometimes rely on slow, deliberative, and effortful choices, while at other times we rely on fast, habitual, and reflexive choice.

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Soham Rej, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Issues related to mental health issues affects more than a million older adults in Canada, costing nearly $15 billion annually – this situation has been amplified by the pandemic and could continue to worsen in the post-COVID-19 world. Many initiatives, such as a large-scale volunteer based telemedicine program launched by our team, will help address this growing issue.

Soham Rej is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a geriatric psychiatrist at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH). He is currently leading a team of researchers who is running the large-scale Volunteer-Based Telehealth Intervention Program to over a thousand isolated older adults (TIP-OA) in Montreal and examines clinical trials in late-life mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders at the JGH Geri-PARTy Lab and McGill Meditation and Mind-body Medicine Research Clinic (MMMM-RC).

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Brett Thombs, Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry

“No one could have imagined how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect mental health. Our team has reviewed over 40,000 studies as part of our living systematic review of mental health in COVID-19, which provides a better understanding of how much people have been affected, who has been affected, and what has happened to mental health across different periods of the pandemic.”

Brett Thombs is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an Associate Member of the Departments of Educational & Counselling Psychology; Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, Medicine, Psychology; and the Biomedical Ethics Unit. He is conducting (1) a large-scale, worldwide study on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and mitigation efforts like social distancing, particularly on people already suffering from chronic medical conditions and (2) a trial of an intervention designed to reduce negative mental health effects.

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Samuel Veissière, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Co-director, Culture, Mind and Brain Program

In times of great uncertainty, catastrophes or disruptions of the social order, people often look for simple narratives and explanatory models to identify culprits. Conspiracy theories can become viral in such moments because they are catchy and intuitive, easy to remember, and easy to pass on. All conspiracy theories follow a similar intuitive recipe grounded in fear of pollution and desire to protect the purity of perceived victims. At a time when the need to work together to build a healthier world has never been so apparent, it is time to treat the Internet for what it is: the most alarming public health risk and threat to democracy we have ever known.”

Samuel Veissière is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, the Co-director of the Culture, Mind, and Brain program and an Associate Member of the Department of Anthropology. An interdisciplinary anthropologist and cognitive scientist, he studies social dimensions of cognition, consciousness, and human well-being through a variety of projects including placebo effects and hypnosis, hyper-sociality in smartphone addiction, social polarization, gender and mental health, and the theoretical study of cultural evolution.

[email protected] (English, French, Portuguese)

Anna Weinberg, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Stress is a risk factor for a huge range of health problems, including increases in anxiety and depression. The COVID-19 pandemic has many elements that make it a particularly potent stressor—including its chronicity, its ability to erode sources of comfort, like social support, and the sustained uncertainty that it has injected into so many areas of our lives. We are already seeing heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression around the world, and these effects may increase over time as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt. However, not everyone is experiencing the pandemic in the same way, and different individuals are differentially susceptible to the effects of stress. It is critical to address both the unequal distribution of pandemic-related stress and to promote strategies that individuals can use to buffer against the adverse effects of stress.”

Anna Weinberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Neuroscience. Her research focuses on identifying biological pathways that give rise to disordered emotional experience.

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Robert Whitley, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry

COVID-19 restrictions have caused separation from the people, places, and social activities that give our life purpose and meaning. That said, it is important to note that there is a crucial difference between being alone and being lonely. For some, being alone represents a desirable time of comfort and solace. Indeed, such solitude can inspire renewal through reflection and introspection, and can also give time for meaningful activities including meditation, prayer, exercise, writing, creative arts and other activities which can foster positive mental health.

Robert Whitley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Principal Investigator of the Social Psychiatry Research and Interest Group (SPRING) at the Douglas Research Centre. He conducts research on various areas of social psychiatry including religion/spirituality and mental health, psychosocial recovery from mental illness and men’s mental health.

[email protected] (English, French)

Physical activity and sports

Steven Grover, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine

“During social isolation, engaging Canadians to maintain healthy lifestyle habits is at least as important as avoiding the infection. Given that approximately 2/3 of Canadians are overweight or obese and only 15% meet current physical activity guidelines, the impact of more sedentary behaviour, weight gain, and increased stress will result in a huge jump in cases of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and mental health problems including insomnia, anxiety and depression. How we manage our physical and mental health during social isolation is critical and at least as important as maintaining the isolation itself.”

Steven Grover is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. His research focuses on the importance of exercise, healthy eating, and other lifestyle interventions to improve health, as well as on digital, e-healthinterventions using web-based platforms.

[email protected] (English, French)

Richard Koestner, Full Professor, Department of Psychology

This is a time where we have to consider adjusting our personal goals. For instance, many people have the common goal of doing exercise three times a week, though now gyms and sport fields are no longer accessible to the public. Due to the current situation, some have instead taken up jogging, outdoor calisthenics or even invented their own parkour circuits. Such creative adaptations not only allow us to get exercise but also leads us to a new activity that can be surprisingly rewarding.”

Richard Koestner is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology and the head of the McGill Human Motivation Lab. For more than 30 years, he has been conducting research on goal-setting, self-regulation and internalization processes.

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Pregnancy

Gabrielle Cassir, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

“In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the unique concerns of pregnant women need to be addressed, especially those surrounding vaccination.”

Gabrielle Cassir is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a staff physician at the St. Mary’s Hospital Center. Her sub-specialty focused on high-risk pregnancies, with a particular interest in maternal diseases, more specifically obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hyperparathyroidism.

[email protected] (English, French)

Suzanne King, Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry

“Both maternal infections and psychosocial stress during pregnancy have been associated with sub-optimal outcomes in the unborn child. Thus, it’s important for pregnant women to (1) follow public health directives to avoid contracting COVID-19 or any other illness, (2) follow all of the good pregnancy health guidelines such as eating well and taking vitamins, and (3) focus on the positive in their current situation, get psychosocial support to limit stress, and take steps to limit changes to their daily routines as much as possible.”

Suzanne King is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, as well as a Principal Investigator at the Douglas Research Centre. Her current work focuses on fives prospective longitudinal studies of children who were exposed to maternal stress in utero as the result of a natural disaster: the Quebec ice storm of 1998; Iowa floods of 2008; Queensland floods in Australia in 2011; the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray; and the flooding in Houston following the 2017 Hurricane Harvey. She is also currently involved in two studies of prenatal stress from COVID-19 in Canada and Australia.

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Isabelle Malhamé, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine

Although the vast majority of pregnant women will experience mild COVID-19 symptoms, some women do progress to severe morbidity. Thus, the maternal risks with COVID-19 during pregnancy should not be downplayed. We still have a lot to learn about the effects of COVID-19 on maternal, fetal, and pregnancy outcomes.”

Isabelle Malhamé is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and an attending physician at the McGill University Health Centre, where she provides specialized clinical service to women with medical disorders before, during, and after pregnancy. Her research focuses on severe cardiovascular complications occurring during pregnancy and the postpartum period in high and low resource settings.

[email protected] (English, French)

Ashley Wazana, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

A mother’s prenatal mood and worries during pregnancy predict a child’s mental well-being in the long run. When you combine maternal stress with the environmental adversity from the COVID-19 crisis, you have the potential for greater mental health challenges for children who are born into this post-pandemic world. Mental health ought to be a fundamental part of prenatal health. We need to appreciate the importance of mental health needs across the lifespan, starting with pregnancy.”

Ashley Wazana is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a clinician-scientist at the Jewish General Hospital. His research examines how genotypes in the serotonin, dopamine and glucocorticoid pathways and which early maternal experiences interact to modify the trajectory for anxious and depressive psychopathology of children with prenatal adversity.

[email protected] (English, French)

Safety

Parisa Ariya, James McGill Professor, Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Chemistry

We cannot stop all viral transmissions, yet we can better manage them. The recent scientific data shows consistently that facial masks diminishes the COVID-19 transmission.”

Parisa Ariya is a James McGill Professor cross-appointed to the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Chemistry. A world leader in the study of bioaerosol transmission, her research explores major fundamental and applied research questions on chemical and physical processes involving aerosols (including air and waterborne viruses), as well as gaseous organic and trace metal pollutants of relevance to the Earth’s atmosphere and to human health.

[email protected] (English, French)

Roland Grad, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care and altered priorities. During this time, primary health care needs rethinking to focus on those actions that are strongly recommended.”

Roland Grad is an Associate Professor and Director of the Clinician Scholar Program in the Department of Family Medicine, as well as an attending physician at the Jewish General Hospital. His research pertains to knowledge translation, medical education, and continuing professional development, with a focus on how health professionals use research-based information.

[email protected] (English)

Leighanne Parkes, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

“Different groups, ranging from health care workers to everyday people living in zones affected by COVID-19, require different mitigations strategies. When implementing prevention strategies, multiple facets have to be taken into consideration such as physical space, administrative processes and human behaviors. Our last line of defense is often protective equipment like masks, gloves and ocular protection, but this is the ‘weakest’ line of defense. Each population or group needs a tailored approach, and an approach that specifically involves the members of the group involved; an approach of which they can take ownership.”

Leighanne Parkes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at the Jewish General Hospital. She is currently collaborating in a McGill-led clinical research initiative to test the efficacy of existing drugs against COVID-19, in the hopes they may improve outcomes as a vaccine is being developed.

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Vincent Poirier, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

When traveling, in-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is a real risk, which may be minimized by combining several mitigation strategies. These include mandatory masking onboard, minimizing unmasked time while eating, turning on gasper airflow while inflight, frequent hand sanitizing, disinfecting high touch surfaces, promoting distancing while boarding and deplaning and limiting onboard passenger movement. The implementation of a standardized digital health pass for COVID-19 and more robust contact tracing may be key factors to allow for a gradual safe return to sustainable and responsible travel.”

Vincent Poirier is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and a physician and aviation medicine specialist at the McGill University Health Centre. He is also the co-founder and director of the Onboard Medical Emergencies course that teaches health professionals how to manage inflight medical emergencies. His expertise has been sought after by major airlines, such as Air Canada and Air Transat, where he serves as a medical consultant on passenger health.

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Jennifer Ronholm, Assistant Professor, Departments of Animal Science and Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry

“Reusable cups or containers could present a risk to restaurant workers if they are being used by someone who has the virus prior to being handed to front line workers. However, to put the risk in perspective, anyone cleaning the tables at the same restaurant would be potentially be exposed at the same or higher rate (via dirty plates and cutlery) if people infected with the virus ate there.”

Jennifer Ronholm is an Assistant Professor cross-appointed to the Departments of Animal Science and Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. Her research interests include using the latest next-generation sequencing techniques to study how the microbiome of food-producing animals affects food quality, as well as how the microbiome of the food we eat affects human health.

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Avinash Sinha, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia

A review of the evidence suggests a strong recommendation for the use of masks when in public and physical distancing is not possible or is unpredictable. Places where the risk is particularly high include public transport, workplaces and enclosed environments that are experiencing increased traffic as we lighten ‘lockdown’ restrictions. We should continue to emphasize the attitude that ‘I protect you, you protect me, together we protect society’ embodied in personal practices that include hand washing and good hygiene, staying at home when possible, isolating when ill, general awareness of contact precautions, especially around vulnerable people or groups, and the practice of physical distancing and physical barriers such as masks.

Avinash Sinha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and an anesthesiologist at the McGill University Health Centre. He is part of a team of Montreal medical experts that partnered with AON3D, a Montreal-based 3D printing company, to design and distribute face shields to protect healthcare workers working COVID-19-infected patients.

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Guylène Thériault, Faculty Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine

This pandemic gives us a necessary setback. We need to refocus our activities in medicine on actions that bring value to our patients, actions (tests, treatments, etc.) that have a real potential to positively influence their quality of life. We must stop many tests and treatments that have no value and we must develop the humility to share decisions through conversations where we exchange the most accurate information possible.”

Guylène Thériault is a Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine and the Director of the Physicianship Component at the Campus Outaouais of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. A family medicine physician with more than two decades of experience, her expertise has been sought after by the Direction de la santé publique de Outaouais, the CISSS de Outaouais and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care as co-lead of primary care for Choosing Wisely Canada.

[email protected] (French)

Scott Weichenthal, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

The importance of airborne transmission is now recognized for COVID-19. This is particularly important for indoor environments, such as schools and workplaces, as aerosols containing infectious material can pose a serious concern if indoor ventilation and filtration are not sufficient. Schools and workplaces should implement measures to improve indoor air quality to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. Such measures will also have ongoing health benefits after the pandemic.”

Scott Weichenthal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. His research program is dedicated to identifying and evaluating environmental risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

[email protected] (English)

Michael Wiseman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, Division of Community-Based Dentistry and Dental Public Health

Dentists continue to be leaders in infection control. Dentists have been there for the public throughout the pandemic as the zones change from red to, hopefully, green, in the near future. Our offices have remained open to treat our patients as we have complete confidence in our ability to provide treatment in a safe and reassuring environment.

Michael Wiseman is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry and a dentist in Côte St-Luc. In 2015, he was involved as the Montreal representative in the launch of the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program, a pilot initiative to provide free oral health care to Holocaust survivors.

[email protected] (English)

Telemedicine and eHealth

Sara Ahmed, Full Professor, School of Physical & Occupational Therapy

At the heart of patient centered care is the ability to adjust care according to a person’s medical condition and personal circumstances and preferences — including during the pandemic. There will be lessons learned on practices to continue, but we must also examine disparities in access to care and why for some patients telehealth, for example, was not offered or accessible.”

Sara Ahmed is a Full Professor in the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy. She conducts research aimed at improving health outcomes for individuals with chronic disease by addressing the challenges of using patient reported outcomes (e.g. health-related quality of life, self-efficacy) in chronic disease management programs, and the use of advanced psychometric approaches for improving the precision and efficiency of outcome evaluations.

[email protected] (English)

Antonia Arnaert, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing

“In response to COVID-19, clinicians and healthcare systems worldwide have had to embrace remote and virtual health care. Once the pandemic subsides, hopefully these measures will still be considered to make health and social services more accessible.”

Antonia Arnaert is an Associate Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing. Her research is focused on the implementation and integration of sustainable digital health solutions (including health information technology, mobile health, personalized medicine, telemedicine and wearable health devices) to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and provide personalized care to various patient populations.

[email protected] (English)

Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Associate Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Although rehabilitation is effective in restoring function, many elderly individuals, especially those who have survived a stroke, are no longer receiving adequate rehabilitation services during the COVID-19 pandemic due to containment measures. To overcome this problem, we use telerehabilitation to deliver customized and personalized at-home therapy sessions while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.”

Marie-Hélène Boudrias is an Associate Professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and a researcher at the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Research Site of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal and CISSS-Laval, where she supervises the Brain Research and Imaging of Neurorehabilitation (BRAIN) Laboratory. Her research interests are focused on quantifying brain networks and identifying biomarkers of aging and motor recovery in stroke using the newest advances in neuroimaging and neurophysiological techniques and design subject-specific interventions to maintain and improve motor function.

[email protected] (English, French)

Bertrand Lebouché, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Investigating mobile health technology to remotely follow-up with COVID-19 patients at home is important to connect them with care, to protect healthcare providers, and to engage patients in COVID-19 research.”

Bertrand Lebouché is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a Scientist in the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Since 2019, Dr. Lebouché has been adapting a patient-conceived smartphone application (Opal), in use at the Cedars Cancer Centre of the MUHC, for HIV care – he has since teamed up with the creators of Opal to create a new application that could provide resources for COVID-19 patients isolating at home.

[email protected] (English, French)

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Where are we going with Covid 19 and its different variants?

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Where are we going with Covid 19 and its different variants?

Andrea Smadja-C19-Tamar news
Since March 2020, the world has been shaken by this pandemic which has affected everyone, all countries, all continents, all religions, babies, children, teenagers, men, women, parents, grandparents,religions, babies, children, teenagers, men, women, parents, grandparents, patients, doctors , the poor, the rich .
The powerful of this world (Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron) and the anonymous.
The highly respected Mcgill University in Montreal, Canada has published a comprehensive study on the impact of Covid 19 on various physical and psychological aspects.
Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:
Featured expert - Economic impactsIn the last year, entrepreneurs faced tremendous challenges: a drop in demand, skittish investors, disruptions of supply chains, and a shift to virtual work. Yet, many start-ups survived and are well-positioned for growth as the economy re-opens. To move forward, entrepreneurs need to consider local sourcing, mixed-channel retailing, and a hybrid office.Elena Obukhova, Assistant Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management

Addictions

Jeffrey Derevensky, James McGill Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology and Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-risk Behaviours
"During this period of quarantine when children and teenagers are left with a lot of unstructured time on their hands, it's especially challenging to limit their playing online internet games. Moderation is the key."
Jeffrey Derevensky is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology and Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-risk Behaviours. He is an international expert in the area of behavioural addictions and was on the World Health Organization's committee which helped identify Internet Gaming Disorder as a recognizable disorder. [email protected] (English) Rachel Rabin, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
“During these uncertain times, some people may use addictive substances to help cope with stress, anxiety and depression. While initially, it may appear that drugs are reducing these feelings, in fact, they can actually exacerbate them, leading people to increase their drug consumption. This can be especially worrisome for individuals who may be at increased risk of developing an addictive disorder or for those in recovery.”
Rachel Rabin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a researcher at the Douglas Research Centre. Her research program focuses on developing a better understanding of the neurocognitive and social cognitive dysfunction in individuals with substance use disorders in both psychiatric (e.g., schizophrenia) and non-psychiatric populations. [email protected] (English)

Food security and nutrition

Stéphanie Chevalier, Associate Professor, School of Human Nutrition
"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our eating behaviours, diet quality, and physical activity on different levels. Some people report more time for home cooking and improving their diet. Many others have a poor diet due to limited resources, cooking skills, and access to fresh foods, or due to periods of anxiety, depression and isolation. We need high-quality data to document how eating behaviours and food intake are affected and by which determinants, as these may have long-term consequences on health outcomes."
Stéphanie Chevalier is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition and an Associate Member of the Department of Medicine. Her research studies the processes that lead to the loss of muscle mass and strength with aging, and other conditions such as cancer, viral pandemics and diabetes, that may interfere with normal functioning. Her latest initiative, the COVIDiet survey, aims to understand how the eating habits of Canadians are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. [email protected] (English, French) Daiva Nielsen, Assistant Professor, School of Human Nutrition
Little information is currently available to help us understand how Quebecers organized themselves around getting food during the strict closures and how this experience might have been similar or different in various regions, while being mindful of economic factors that play a role in shaping challenges. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to be a societal issue for some time to come, this data will be valuable to inform food access strategies to help us prepare in the event of future outbreaks.”
Daiva Nielsen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Nutrition. She is currently leading a study to compare household food procurement experiences across different regions in Quebec, including those more affected by COVID-19. [email protected] (English) Anne-Julie Tessier, PhD candidate, School of Human Nutrition
"Diet ranks as the second leading risk factor for chronic diseases including cardiovascular, diabetes, chronic kidney diseases and cancer in Canada, smoking ranking first. It is unclear how food intake, eating habits and other lifestyle behaviours have changed and will continue to be impacted as the pandemic progresses. Using an artificial intelligence-enhanced food tracker app, Canadians are capturing their eating in a fun and easy way. Our goal is to understand which factors such as stress, food access, working from home, possibly modify diet and whether it is linked to the incidence of chronic diseases."
Anne-Julie Tessier is a registered dietitian and a PhD candidate in the School of Human Nutrition. She is currently collaborating with Stéphanie Chevalier, Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition, on the COVIDiet survey, a study that aims to understand how the eating habits of Canadians have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. [email protected]mcgill.ca (English, French)

Immune system

Gerald Batist, Full Professor, Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology
“In order to manage the COVID-19-related tsunami of cancer patients delayed or otherwise under managed during the pandemic, we will depend on research and innovation; the same way we have found our way through COVID-19."
Gerald Batist is a Full Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology and the Director of the McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer and the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. His research programs are in novel therapeutics, and he’s made significant contributions to the development of new cancer treatments. [email protected] (English, French) Judith Mandl, Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology
Bat species have been implicated as the reservoir hosts of numerous zoonotic viruses, including Ebola, Marburg, Hendra, Nipah, rabies and coronaviruses. The immune responses of bats to these viruses results in very different infection outcomes compared to humans (e.g. no obvious clinical signs of infection in bats as opposed to sometimes very high lethality in humans, depending on the virus in question). Understanding how and why the immune response differs from animals to humans could provide us with better tools to prevent disease in humans when a new virus crosses over from its wild animal reservoir.
Judith Mandl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and holds the Canada Research Chair in Immune Cell Dynamics. Her research has made important contributions to the field of HIV pathogenesis, demonstrating the absence of ongoing type I interferon production in a natural host for SIV and its impact on downstream adaptive responses. Her current work focuses on T cell recirculation in mouse models of infection or immunodeficiency, making use of cutting-edge research tools that allow linking individual cell-level to population-level processes, including intravital 2-photon and confocal microscopy. [email protected] (English) Giorgia Sulis, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
The abuse of antibiotics was already a significant problem prior to the COVID-19 crisis across countries and across levels of care. However, in low- and middle-income countries, the pandemic is further exacerbating this alarming issue, contributing to fueling the parallel pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.
Giorgia Sulis is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. Her research interests encompass various global health areas, and primarily tuberculosis, antibiotic usage and vaccines, with a particular focus on low and middle-income countries. [email protected] (English, Italian) Marc Tewfik, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
"COVID-19 has raised public awareness of the importance of the sense of smell: affected individuals that lose their ability to smell quickly realize that it is a key part of many of our daily pleasures, such as enjoying good food. Perhaps more importantly though, it is an important mechanism for keeping us safe from harm."
Marc Tewfik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Director of the Advanced Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Fellowship program. His research focuses on the role of nasal immunity and its interaction with viruses and bacteria in chronically diseased and healthy sinuses, surgical simulation training for endoscopic sinus surgery for all levels of learners, as well as the repair of large surgical defects in the nose. [email protected] (English, French)

Infectious diseases and viruses

Anne Gatignol, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine
"COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 remains a pandemic that continues to affect and kill people worldwide. The patients are better treated and some repurposed treatments are moderately effective against COVID-19. The focus is now on the search of specific treatments targeting the virus and vaccines to provide a protective immunity."
Anne Gatignol is Full Professor in the Department of Medicine and an Associate Member of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She teaches virology and viral pathogenesis, including emerging viruses. Her research is mainly on virus-cell interactions applied to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the Zika virus. [email protected] (English, French) Marina Klein, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
“Health care workers are exhausted and morale is low, as many have been exposed to the virus or are already infected. None of us wants another hard lockdown, but we're really in a very precarious situation at the moment. The partial measures in place since September have been like a slow torture and have not prevented the widespread community transmission that is now threatening our health system. The alternative solution, to do something that's very hard, very difficult such has been shown to work in Australia, is likely to be much more effective."
Marina Klein is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Research Director in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Viral Illness at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). As the Canada Research Chair in Clinical and Epidemiologic Studies of Chronic Viral Infections in Vulnerable Populations, she is documenting the impact of new therapies on health outcomes and using evidence generated to advocate for policy change. [email protected] (English, French) Matthew Oughton, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
As the majority of the population presumably remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, relaxing mitigation measures that have been in place for months necessarily come with some risk. Those risks are manageable, provided that adequate testing and contact tracing continue to be performed and need to be balanced against the many regular activities that our population requires in order to function effectively.”
Matthew Oughton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and a specialist in infectious diseases and medical microbiology. He is based at the Jewish General Hospital, where he supervises the bacteriology and molecular microbiology laboratories. His research interests are focused on the use of molecular techniques to improve clinical diagnostic assays, with relevant publications on C. difficile, MRSA, influenza, and other pathogens. [email protected] (English) Raymond Tellier, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
"The current episode, involving a virus jumping from another animal species to humans, similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), is a classic episode of an ‘emerging virus’. We should note that since SARS, there have been other instances involving coronaviruses, such as the MERS in the Middle East, SADS (a disease affecting swine) in China and now the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
Raymond Tellier recently joined the Infectious Diseases team at the McGill University Health Centre and was previously at the University of Calgary, where he remains an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He was part of the research team who first identified the SARS associated coronavirus in Toronto following the outbreak in 2003, in collaboration with several groups in Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver. [email protected] (English, French) Donald Vinh, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
“Recent research shows that curfews have proven to be among some of the most effective interventions, when used with other lockdown measures, to combat COVID-19 because of the age demographic they target and the message they send.”
Donald Vinh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and is an Associate Member in the Departments of Human Genetics and Experimental Medicine. His research focuses on identifying genetic defects of the immune system that explain why certain individuals are prone to infections. [email protected] (English, French) Brian Ward, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine
Since the initial outbreaks, Canada, most of Europe, and several countries in Asia have been doing remarkably well in keeping a 'lid' on the novel coronavirus. The virus is still circulating but at a relatively low level and the burden of cases has shifted to younger age groups. It is not at all clear what will happen when schools re-open (if schools re-open) in September. That being said, the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is not going to 'go away' until we have effective vaccines.”
Brian Ward is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, an Associate Member of the Centre for Host-Parasite Interactions and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). His research focuses on the development and evaluation of novel virus-like particle vaccines (e.g. influenza, measles, etc.) in both young and elderly subjects, international health issues with a particular focus on factors that influence HIV transmission, virus-nutritional interactions, and the development of new diagnostic tests for parasitic diseases. [email protected] (English, French, Spanish)

Mental health

Danilo Bzdok , Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
A deepened understanding of the consequences of social isolation for mental and physical health will be key in the years after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Danilo Bzdok is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He holds the Canada CIFAR AI Chair and is involved with the Mila Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. His latest scholarly work explores the wide-ranging, negative consequences that social isolation has on our psychological well-being and physical health, including decreased life span. [email protected] (English, French, German, Italian) Patricia Dobkin, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Physician resilience can be an antidote to burnout and distress. It can be fostered through both ‘bottom up’ measures, such as physicians finding meaning in their work and being able to embody mindfulness, and ‘top down’ approaches, such as directors showing appreciation and providing support (e.g. PPE) for physicians. COVID-19 is challenging due to its uncertainty, unpredictability and various unknowns. Working together, taking care of ourselves, and maintaining realistic hope will help us all get through these turbulent times.
Patricia Dobkin is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is affiliated with the McGill Programs in Whole Person Care, where she offers doctors and allied health care professionals Mindfulness-Based Medical Practice workshops and courses. Her research focuses on physician well-being and improving patient care. [email protected] (English, French) Joe Flanders, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
After a long, difficult winter, we are finally starting to see a path toward normalcy. This summer should be one of joy and gratitude for many of us as public health restrictions are lifted, and we reconnect with our loved ones and re-engage with our cherished activities. It won’t be easy for everyone though; change in itself can be stressful, even if it’s positive. Some of us have gotten used to a safer, more constrained lifestyle and the re-opening plan may be received with some anxiety. In addition, there is reason to expect COVID-19 to be with us for some time, so we need to be prepared for additional outbreaks, targeted lock downs and booster shots later this year and next.”
Joe Flanders is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and the founder and director of the MindSpace Clinic, a Montreal-based full-service clinic promoting well-being in individuals, organizations, and communities. He offers Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to individuals, groups, and organizations. [email protected] (English, French) Reut Gruber, Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry
During the COVID-19 pandemic it is especially important for everyone to establish and follow good sleep habits so they get healthy sleep. Stressors that contribute to insomnia are amplified during the pandemic due to lifestyle changes, and thoughts and feelings that make people worry or feel anxious at night. People suffering from insomnia can seek the help of licensed psychologists with expertise in behavioural interventions for sleep disorders. It is important to note that certifications from institutes or organizations that are not part of a professional society (such as sleep ‘coaches’ or ‘consultants’ ) are usually not regulated and are not licensed or trained in behavioural sleep medicine.”
Reut Gruber is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the Attention, Behaviour and Sleep Laboratory at the Douglas Research Centre. Her research focuses on three themes as they relate to pediatric sleep: ADHD, academic performance, and mental health. [email protected] (English) Jason Harley, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Anxiety isn’t the only emotion that can negatively impact the quality of our thinking and responsible behavior. As numbers continue to improve in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, we must also be vigilant of the influence that relief can have in directing our attention and influencing the way we make sense of COVID-19-related information. Like most things, relief is good in the right dosage because too much can lead to overconfidence, selectively attending to pandemic-related information, and adopting behaviors before they are advised for our and others’ safety.”
Jason Harley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, an Associate Member of the Institute for Health Sciences Education and a Junior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). They are currently conducting research to investigate coping strategies health care workers are using to deal with stress during the pandemic, assess their effectiveness and use that information to recommend new measures to protect the mental health of health care professionals. In collaboration with the SAILS Lab, they are also a developing and testing public education tools to enhance COVID-19 health and media literacy with a special focus on the role of emotion regulation in promoting public understanding and adaptive health behaviors. [email protected] (English, French) Ross Otto, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
"While the current pandemic restrictions are rather strict and limit many types of activities, we should still expect to see person-to-person variability in the ways we perceive the riskiness of less restricted activities, and consequently, the extent to which we engage in these activities – for example, international travel or taking a walk with a friend."
Ross Otto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. He studies decision-making, and more particularly, why we sometimes rely on slow, deliberative, and effortful choices, while at other times we rely on fast, habitual, and reflexive choice. [email protected] (English) Soham Rej, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Issues related to mental health issues affects more than a million older adults in Canada, costing nearly $15 billion annually – this situation has been amplified by the pandemic and could continue to worsen in the post-COVID-19 world. Many initiatives, such as a large-scale volunteer based telemedicine program launched by our team, will help address this growing issue.
Soham Rej is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a geriatric psychiatrist at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH). He is currently leading a team of researchers who is running the large-scale Volunteer-Based Telehealth Intervention Program to over a thousand isolated older adults (TIP-OA) in Montreal and examines clinical trials in late-life mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders at the JGH Geri-PARTy Lab and McGill Meditation and Mind-body Medicine Research Clinic (MMMM-RC). [email protected] (English, French) Brett Thombs, Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry
“No one could have imagined how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect mental health. Our team has reviewed over 40,000 studies as part of our living systematic review of mental health in COVID-19, which provides a better understanding of how much people have been affected, who has been affected, and what has happened to mental health across different periods of the pandemic.”
Brett Thombs is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an Associate Member of the Departments of Educational & Counselling Psychology; Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, Medicine, Psychology; and the Biomedical Ethics Unit. He is conducting (1) a large-scale, worldwide study on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and mitigation efforts like social distancing, particularly on people already suffering from chronic medical conditions and (2) a trial of an intervention designed to reduce negative mental health effects. [email protected] (English) Samuel Veissière, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Co-director, Culture, Mind and Brain Program
In times of great uncertainty, catastrophes or disruptions of the social order, people often look for simple narratives and explanatory models to identify culprits. Conspiracy theories can become viral in such moments because they are catchy and intuitive, easy to remember, and easy to pass on. All conspiracy theories follow a similar intuitive recipe grounded in fear of pollution and desire to protect the purity of perceived victims. At a time when the need to work together to build a healthier world has never been so apparent, it is time to treat the Internet for what it is: the most alarming public health risk and threat to democracy we have ever known.”
Samuel Veissière is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, the Co-director of the Culture, Mind, and Brain program and an Associate Member of the Department of Anthropology. An interdisciplinary anthropologist and cognitive scientist, he studies social dimensions of cognition, consciousness, and human well-being through a variety of projects including placebo effects and hypnosis, hyper-sociality in smartphone addiction, social polarization, gender and mental health, and the theoretical study of cultural evolution. [email protected] (English, French, Portuguese) Anna Weinberg, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Stress is a risk factor for a huge range of health problems, including increases in anxiety and depression. The COVID-19 pandemic has many elements that make it a particularly potent stressor—including its chronicity, its ability to erode sources of comfort, like social support, and the sustained uncertainty that it has injected into so many areas of our lives. We are already seeing heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression around the world, and these effects may increase over time as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt. However, not everyone is experiencing the pandemic in the same way, and different individuals are differentially susceptible to the effects of stress. It is critical to address both the unequal distribution of pandemic-related stress and to promote strategies that individuals can use to buffer against the adverse effects of stress.”
Anna Weinberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Neuroscience. Her research focuses on identifying biological pathways that give rise to disordered emotional experience. [email protected] (English) Robert Whitley, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
COVID-19 restrictions have caused separation from the people, places, and social activities that give our life purpose and meaning. That said, it is important to note that there is a crucial difference between being alone and being lonely. For some, being alone represents a desirable time of comfort and solace. Indeed, such solitude can inspire renewal through reflection and introspection, and can also give time for meaningful activities including meditation, prayer, exercise, writing, creative arts and other activities which can foster positive mental health.
Robert Whitley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Principal Investigator of the Social Psychiatry Research and Interest Group (SPRING) at the Douglas Research Centre. He conducts research on various areas of social psychiatry including religion/spirituality and mental health, psychosocial recovery from mental illness and men’s mental health. [email protected] (English, French)

Physical activity and sports

Steven Grover, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine
“During social isolation, engaging Canadians to maintain healthy lifestyle habits is at least as important as avoiding the infection. Given that approximately 2/3 of Canadians are overweight or obese and only 15% meet current physical activity guidelines, the impact of more sedentary behaviour, weight gain, and increased stress will result in a huge jump in cases of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and mental health problems including insomnia, anxiety and depression. How we manage our physical and mental health during social isolation is critical and at least as important as maintaining the isolation itself.”
Steven Grover is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. His research focuses on the importance of exercise, healthy eating, and other lifestyle interventions to improve health, as well as on digital, e-healthinterventions using web-based platforms. [email protected] (English, French) Richard Koestner, Full Professor, Department of Psychology
This is a time where we have to consider adjusting our personal goals. For instance, many people have the common goal of doing exercise three times a week, though now gyms and sport fields are no longer accessible to the public. Due to the current situation, some have instead taken up jogging, outdoor calisthenics or even invented their own parkour circuits. Such creative adaptations not only allow us to get exercise but also leads us to a new activity that can be surprisingly rewarding.”
Richard Koestner is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology and the head of the McGill Human Motivation Lab. For more than 30 years, he has been conducting research on goal-setting, self-regulation and internalization processes. [email protected] (English)

Pregnancy

Gabrielle Cassir, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
“In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the unique concerns of pregnant women need to be addressed, especially those surrounding vaccination.”
Gabrielle Cassir is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a staff physician at the St. Mary’s Hospital Center. Her sub-specialty focused on high-risk pregnancies, with a particular interest in maternal diseases, more specifically obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hyperparathyroidism. [email protected] (English, French) Suzanne King, Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry
“Both maternal infections and psychosocial stress during pregnancy have been associated with sub-optimal outcomes in the unborn child. Thus, it’s important for pregnant women to (1) follow public health directives to avoid contracting COVID-19 or any other illness, (2) follow all of the good pregnancy health guidelines such as eating well and taking vitamins, and (3) focus on the positive in their current situation, get psychosocial support to limit stress, and take steps to limit changes to their daily routines as much as possible.”
Suzanne King is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, as well as a Principal Investigator at the Douglas Research Centre. Her current work focuses on fives prospective longitudinal studies of children who were exposed to maternal stress in utero as the result of a natural disaster: the Quebec ice storm of 1998; Iowa floods of 2008; Queensland floods in Australia in 2011; the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray; and the flooding in Houston following the 2017 Hurricane Harvey. She is also currently involved in two studies of prenatal stress from COVID-19 in Canada and Australia. [email protected] (English, French) Isabelle Malhamé, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine
Although the vast majority of pregnant women will experience mild COVID-19 symptoms, some women do progress to severe morbidity. Thus, the maternal risks with COVID-19 during pregnancy should not be downplayed. We still have a lot to learn about the effects of COVID-19 on maternal, fetal, and pregnancy outcomes.”
Isabelle Malhamé is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and an attending physician at the McGill University Health Centre, where she provides specialized clinical service to women with medical disorders before, during, and after pregnancy. Her research focuses on severe cardiovascular complications occurring during pregnancy and the postpartum period in high and low resource settings. [email protected] (English, French) Ashley Wazana, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
A mother’s prenatal mood and worries during pregnancy predict a child’s mental well-being in the long run. When you combine maternal stress with the environmental adversity from the COVID-19 crisis, you have the potential for greater mental health challenges for children who are born into this post-pandemic world. Mental health ought to be a fundamental part of prenatal health. We need to appreciate the importance of mental health needs across the lifespan, starting with pregnancy.”
Ashley Wazana is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a clinician-scientist at the Jewish General Hospital. His research examines how genotypes in the serotonin, dopamine and glucocorticoid pathways and which early maternal experiences interact to modify the trajectory for anxious and depressive psychopathology of children with prenatal adversity. [email protected] (English, French)

Safety

Parisa Ariya, James McGill Professor, Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Chemistry
We cannot stop all viral transmissions, yet we can better manage them. The recent scientific data shows consistently that facial masks diminishes the COVID-19 transmission.”
Parisa Ariya is a James McGill Professor cross-appointed to the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Chemistry. A world leader in the study of bioaerosol transmission, her research explores major fundamental and applied research questions on chemical and physical processes involving aerosols (including air and waterborne viruses), as well as gaseous organic and trace metal pollutants of relevance to the Earth's atmosphere and to human health. [email protected] (English, French) Roland Grad, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care and altered priorities. During this time, primary health care needs rethinking to focus on those actions that are strongly recommended.”
Roland Grad is an Associate Professor and Director of the Clinician Scholar Program in the Department of Family Medicine, as well as an attending physician at the Jewish General Hospital. His research pertains to knowledge translation, medical education, and continuing professional development, with a focus on how health professionals use research-based information. [email protected] (English) Leighanne Parkes, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
“Different groups, ranging from health care workers to everyday people living in zones affected by COVID-19, require different mitigations strategies. When implementing prevention strategies, multiple facets have to be taken into consideration such as physical space, administrative processes and human behaviors. Our last line of defense is often protective equipment like masks, gloves and ocular protection, but this is the ‘weakest’ line of defense. Each population or group needs a tailored approach, and an approach that specifically involves the members of the group involved; an approach of which they can take ownership.”
Leighanne Parkes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at the Jewish General Hospital. She is currently collaborating in a McGill-led clinical research initiative to test the efficacy of existing drugs against COVID-19, in the hopes they may improve outcomes as a vaccine is being developed. [email protected] (English) Vincent Poirier, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
When traveling, in-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is a real risk, which may be minimized by combining several mitigation strategies. These include mandatory masking onboard, minimizing unmasked time while eating, turning on gasper airflow while inflight, frequent hand sanitizing, disinfecting high touch surfaces, promoting distancing while boarding and deplaning and limiting onboard passenger movement. The implementation of a standardized digital health pass for COVID-19 and more robust contact tracing may be key factors to allow for a gradual safe return to sustainable and responsible travel.”
Vincent Poirier is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and a physician and aviation medicine specialist at the McGill University Health Centre. He is also the co-founder and director of the Onboard Medical Emergencies course that teaches health professionals how to manage inflight medical emergencies. His expertise has been sought after by major airlines, such as Air Canada and Air Transat, where he serves as a medical consultant on passenger health. [email protected] (English, French) Jennifer Ronholm, Assistant Professor, Departments of Animal Science and Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry
“Reusable cups or containers could present a risk to restaurant workers if they are being used by someone who has the virus prior to being handed to front line workers. However, to put the risk in perspective, anyone cleaning the tables at the same restaurant would be potentially be exposed at the same or higher rate (via dirty plates and cutlery) if people infected with the virus ate there.”
Jennifer Ronholm is an Assistant Professor cross-appointed to the Departments of Animal Science and Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. Her research interests include using the latest next-generation sequencing techniques to study how the microbiome of food-producing animals affects food quality, as well as how the microbiome of the food we eat affects human health. [email protected] (English) Avinash Sinha, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia
A review of the evidence suggests a strong recommendation for the use of masks when in public and physical distancing is not possible or is unpredictable. Places where the risk is particularly high include public transport, workplaces and enclosed environments that are experiencing increased traffic as we lighten ‘lockdown’ restrictions. We should continue to emphasize the attitude that ‘I protect you, you protect me, together we protect society’ embodied in personal practices that include hand washing and good hygiene, staying at home when possible, isolating when ill, general awareness of contact precautions, especially around vulnerable people or groups, and the practice of physical distancing and physical barriers such as masks.
Avinash Sinha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and an anesthesiologist at the McGill University Health Centre. He is part of a team of Montreal medical experts that partnered with AON3D, a Montreal-based 3D printing company, to design and distribute face shields to protect healthcare workers working COVID-19-infected patients. [email protected] (English, French) Guylène Thériault, Faculty Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine
This pandemic gives us a necessary setback. We need to refocus our activities in medicine on actions that bring value to our patients, actions (tests, treatments, etc.) that have a real potential to positively influence their quality of life. We must stop many tests and treatments that have no value and we must develop the humility to share decisions through conversations where we exchange the most accurate information possible.”
Guylène Thériault is a Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine and the Director of the Physicianship Component at the Campus Outaouais of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. A family medicine physician with more than two decades of experience, her expertise has been sought after by the Direction de la santé publique de Outaouais, the CISSS de Outaouais and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care as co-lead of primary care for Choosing Wisely Canada. [email protected] (French) Scott Weichenthal, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
The importance of airborne transmission is now recognized for COVID-19. This is particularly important for indoor environments, such as schools and workplaces, as aerosols containing infectious material can pose a serious concern if indoor ventilation and filtration are not sufficient. Schools and workplaces should implement measures to improve indoor air quality to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. Such measures will also have ongoing health benefits after the pandemic."
Scott Weichenthal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. His research program is dedicated to identifying and evaluating environmental risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. [email protected] (English) Michael Wiseman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, Division of Community-Based Dentistry and Dental Public Health
Dentists continue to be leaders in infection control. Dentists have been there for the public throughout the pandemic as the zones change from red to, hopefully, green, in the near future. Our offices have remained open to treat our patients as we have complete confidence in our ability to provide treatment in a safe and reassuring environment.
Michael Wiseman is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry and a dentist in Côte St-Luc. In 2015, he was involved as the Montreal representative in the launch of the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program, a pilot initiative to provide free oral health care to Holocaust survivors. [email protected] (English)

Telemedicine and eHealth

Sara Ahmed, Full Professor, School of Physical & Occupational Therapy
At the heart of patient centered care is the ability to adjust care according to a person’s medical condition and personal circumstances and preferences — including during the pandemic. There will be lessons learned on practices to continue, but we must also examine disparities in access to care and why for some patients telehealth, for example, was not offered or accessible.”
Sara Ahmed is a Full Professor in the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy. She conducts research aimed at improving health outcomes for individuals with chronic disease by addressing the challenges of using patient reported outcomes (e.g. health-related quality of life, self-efficacy) in chronic disease management programs, and the use of advanced psychometric approaches for improving the precision and efficiency of outcome evaluations. [email protected] (English) Antonia Arnaert, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing
“In response to COVID-19, clinicians and healthcare systems worldwide have had to embrace remote and virtual health care. Once the pandemic subsides, hopefully these measures will still be considered to make health and social services more accessible.”
Antonia Arnaert is an Associate Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing. Her research is focused on the implementation and integration of sustainable digital health solutions (including health information technology, mobile health, personalized medicine, telemedicine and wearable health devices) to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and provide personalized care to various patient populations. [email protected] (English) Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Associate Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy
Although rehabilitation is effective in restoring function, many elderly individuals, especially those who have survived a stroke, are no longer receiving adequate rehabilitation services during the COVID-19 pandemic due to containment measures. To overcome this problem, we use telerehabilitation to deliver customized and personalized at-home therapy sessions while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.”
Marie-Hélène Boudrias is an Associate Professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and a researcher at the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Research Site of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal and CISSS-Laval, where she supervises the Brain Research and Imaging of Neurorehabilitation (BRAIN) Laboratory. Her research interests are focused on quantifying brain networks and identifying biomarkers of aging and motor recovery in stroke using the newest advances in neuroimaging and neurophysiological techniques and design subject-specific interventions to maintain and improve motor function. [email protected] (English, French) Bertrand Lebouché, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Investigating mobile health technology to remotely follow-up with COVID-19 patients at home is important to connect them with care, to protect healthcare providers, and to engage patients in COVID-19 research.”
Bertrand Lebouché is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a Scientist in the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Since 2019, Dr. Lebouché has been adapting a patient-conceived smartphone application (Opal), in use at the Cedars Cancer Centre of the MUHC, for HIV care – he has since teamed up with the creators of Opal to create a new application that could provide resources for COVID-19 patients isolating at home. [email protected] (English, French)
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