Thursday, June 21, 2018

Microplastics issue

Plastics are material which is artificially made by the human. They are quite stable and easy to be processed. Therefore, we have utilized massive plastic objects in the modern era.

However, the chemical stability of plastics is a problem. There are few bacteria which can discompose plastic objects in the natural setting. Thus, plastics remain perpetually at the place. It is the reason the pollution of plastics is frequently discussed recently.

Surprisingly, and also, unfortunately, we eat microplastics every day. There are microplastics spread not only in the sea but also all over the world. The human is at the top of the food chain. It means that plastics any creatures ate are to be taken in the human body.

The Conversation: You’re eating microplastics in ways you don’t even realise

It sounds terrible to know that plastics will occupy our body. But, the influence of plastics we take is still uncertain. Theoretically, plastics we took is evacuated. Therefore, researchers claim the adverse effect of the plastics we unconsciously take in the current situation is ignorable. However, the situation is changing. The more plastics float on the sea, the more risks of environmental issues arise. Considering the sustainability of the global environment, we should stop excessively relying on artificial materials which are hardly discomposed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Osaka earthquake

On June 18th, Japan was struck by an earthquake again.

It occurred in the morning. Osaka, a metropolis located in the western area of Japan encountered an earthquake whose magnitude recorded 5.3.

Although massive destruction did not emerge, several buildings were damaged. Three people were killed by this disaster, and over 200 were injured. The victims included a schoolchild who was crashed by a corrupted wall.

NEWS24: Three dead, 200 hurt as strong quake jolts Japan's Osaka

It was fortunate that tsunami was not brought by the earthquake. If a tidal wave had attacked Osaka bay, a large number of people would have been victimized.

Japan is an earthquake-rich country. And it is ironic that this disaster may be smaller than that many researchers prospect in the future. Tokai region is estimated to be struck by a gigantic earthquake within next some decades. We have to be aware of the risk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Three step model of treating eating disorder

Eating disorder is a mental disorder which is one of the most difficult to treat. Patients with an eating disorder often take their lives by the disease, mainly due to extreme malnutrition or lethal arrhythmia caused by imbalanced minerals.

The cause of the eating disorder is still under discussion. It is highly likely that some diet-oriented cultures contribute to developing an eating disorder. On the other hand, some genetic factors are also suggested to influence the onset of the disease.

Anyway, normalized diet is essential to overcome the eating disorder. Withdrawing inappropriate dieting is the first step, as the article below mentions.

The Conversation: Eating disorders are hard to overcome, but ditching diets is crucial

However, it is not an easy task for patients to adhere to the direction of the therapist. They are suffering from fear of gaining weight and perfectionism. In most cases, a direct order to drop out the diet fails to be realized by the patient.

Therefore, a step-by-step approach is crucial for successful treatment. First, the therapist has to listen to the patient's voice for an adequate term.  Actually, patients with low body weight often have memory deficiency, and they fail to memorize the suggestions of the therapist. Establishing the patient-therapist relationship should be prioritized in any cases unless the physical status of the patient is critical.

The second step is behavior modification. The goal is to omit improper diet. But to accomplish healthy dieting, patients should be guided with emotional understanding. A series of behavioral experiments is effective to change the behavior. For example, if a patient identifies her body weight did not change after drinking a cup of milk additionally, her fear of loss of the control will be mitigated.

The third step is enhancing self-esteem, as the article says. Lowered self-esteem is usually associated with excessive concern about the body image. Patients should learn that they can be efficacious regardless of their body shape. But, this stage is located at almost the last in the ladder of treating the eating disorder.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mental health issues in youth and elderly

Mental health care is one issue of great importance regardless of each region. Since good mental health is essential for humans to take good performance, promoting mental health is highly associated with productivity of the society.

However, where we should take the priority is various in each society. In Japan, aging is a serious issue. According to the raised mean age of the community, more citizens are suffering from dementia. On the other hand, there are few people with dementia in developing countries. It is similar in some European countries because they are not eager to prolong the lifespan compared to Japanese people.

Instead, mental health issues in youth are focused in recent years. Professionals in the UK suggest young people should be centered.

The Guardian: Young people can be champions of change in mental health care

One of the reasons is the high risk of criminalization of youths with mental health troubles, I believe. Many people can access mental health practitioners only when the police intervene in their acts. In general, young people feel difficult to suppress their aggressive thought. And they hardly admit their mental health is troubled. As a result, youths with mental disorders are highly likely to be involved in crimes.

The situation is similar in Japan. But in Japan, I frequently see older people with mental disorders arrested. The structure of the population in Japan is far different from other nations. I believe mental health in elder people should be prioritized in Japan.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Gay worker's glass ceiling

You may know the words "glass ceiling," meaning that women hardly can be promoted in the company. It is symbolic words suggesting discrimination against women. Then, how about sexual minorities?

The result is obvious: gay men workers are also suffering from the glass ceiling. Although they are likely to become a supervisor, most gay workers are placed at the lowest level of job hierarchy.

The Washington Post: ‘The gay glass ceiling’: Researchers find gay men are frozen out of top management spots

This fact results from a gigantic survey in the UK. The participants include more than 6,000 of sexual minorities. I believe that the sample size is enough to be trusted.

It is widely known that Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is a gay. But the situation that this fact is spread with the curiosity of listers suggests that it is rare for gays to become the top of a company.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Google's second app approved in China

Google launched an app in China, secondary following Google Translator.

Reuters: Google launches second app in China, woos top smartphone market

This app is a China-specific version of Files Go, a storage management tool for smartphones.

Google's apps had been almost entirely banned in China since it refused to accept censorship of China government. As a result, you cannot see Google search, nor G-mail in China.

Google's ideology is "the world should become more searchable." It is completely against Chinese policy. Thus, it is quite natural that China behaves hostile against Google. On the other hand, China's market is too big to be ignored by Google as a company. Therefore, Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, made several negotiations with Chinese authority in recent.

Google Translator and File management software are quite common apps. Residents in China had been not able to utilize such services due to China's exclusive policy. It is a serious disadvantage for them, in my sense. Openness is crucial in the modern world even if it will sacrifice the stability of your society, I believe.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Medical cost unpaid by foreign patients?

Japan government is considering to restrict foreigners to reenter Japan when they have unpaid medical fees in the past visit.

The Japan News: Visitors who ditch medical fees to be barred from reentering Japan

Recently, the situation of unpaid medical fees by foreign patients was surveyed in Japan. According to the media, some serious cases were found in which a large amount of the cost was still compensated.

Therefore, the government is planning to check the medical history of foreigners at the immigration office. When the unpaid fee was identified, he or she will not be permitted to re-enter Japan.

I hardly understand this policy, to be honest. Indeed, foreign patients often cause troubles in a hospital, partially because they have no medical insurance valid in Japan. Since almost all Japanese patients are subjected to the national health insurance, medical practitioners are not familiar with dealing with patients without health insurance. Most hospitals do not have individual divisions to collect the unpaid medical fees.

On the other hand, I am not sure about the impact of unpaid fees by foreigners on the financial situation of each hospital. Some media emphasize the cases in which a significant amount of cost cannot be compensated. But, there are few foreign patients themselves. Also, there are many Japanese patients who are not willing to pay the medical fee responsible to the patients (usually 30% of the total medical cost. 70% is covered by the insurance.)

In addition, foreign people who taking medical service in Japan accidentally are likely to be relatively poor. Regardless of the ways, it is difficult to take money from poor people.

Therefore, I think quite doubtful that the cost to investigate the medical history of all foreigner visiting Japan match the effect of improved rate of collecting medical fees from foreign patients.

In recent, some Japanese are indulged to attack weaker people, such as elderly and pensioners, to manage their negative emotion. I am afraid that Japan will become more hostile to aliens.