Ultimate Christmas music guide: 50 of the best songs to get you into the holiday spirit 2021

Some of us prefer our Christmas music on the pensive side, with wistful lyrics about dusky snowfalls and memories. It’s not joy being sought, but permission to wallow in melancholy.

Others relish the frisky sounds of sleigh bells and triumphant cascades of horns that embellish so many holiday classics. The season doesn’t go into effect until they’ve literally rocked around the Christmas tree.

There just might be a Christmas song for all tastes – jolly to melancholy – so corralling them into one list is not only futile, but impossible.

Still, we try.

Our ultimate Christmas guide touches on classic and current artists with rock, country, R&B and straight-up pop thrown in. Maybe you’ll find something to add to your holiday cheer … or prompt a tear.
1. ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,’ Judy Garland

Songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane have said the first version they wrote for Garland’s film “Meet Me In St. Louis” was so sad, she wouldn’t sing it. Good to know that this is the happy version.
2. ‘All I Want for Christmas is You,’ Mariah Carey

It sounded like a classic upon its arrival, and it’s still the most delightful inductee in the hall of modern Christmas songs.
Santa Claus and Mariah Carey perform during a pre-tape performance for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center on Nov. 27, 2012.
3. ‘Last Christmas,’ Wham!

George Michael’s melancholy lyrics as he laments a fizzled romance might initially seem like a downer. But instead, the combination of a satiny melody and his eventual hopefulness keeps us cheering.
4. ‘Tennessee Christmas,’ Amy Grant

The lead track from Grant’s 1983 “A Christmas Album” is not only a musical warm embrace but a beautiful ballad steeped in nostalgia.
5. ‘Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy,’ David Bowie and Bing Crosby

Not the most obvious pairing on paper, but the respect between the glam rocker and the standards crooner is palpable and the magic between them is undeniable.
Bowie and Crosby teamed up for an intergenerational performance of this Christmas classic on Crosby’s 1977 Christmas TV special on CBS. Bowie was rumored to have partly taken the gig because his mom was a big Bing Crosby fan.
6. ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),’ Darlene Love

We still miss the nearly three-decade tradition of Love belting out this classic on David Letterman’s late-night show.
7. ‘The Christmas Song,’ Nat King Cole

Perhaps the song is a tad overplayed, but the holiday season doesn’t officially arrive until we hear Cole’s pure, dreamy baritone.
8. ‘Christmas Wrapping,’ The Waitresses

Otherwise best known for their New Wave hit, “I Know What Boys Like,” The Waitresses dropped this dose of awesome storytelling in 1981.
9. ‘Do You Hear What I Hear,’ Whitney Houston
Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on Sept. 15, 2004 in Las Vegas.

That soaring voice and that impeccable delivery that always sounded effortless equate to a worthy keepsake of Houston’s potency.
10. ‘Wonderful Christmastime,’ Paul McCartney

Filled with a sprightly chorus and a typically melodic bass line, this solo hit recorded during McCartney’s sessions for his “McCartney II” album exemplifies his own consistent cheer.
11. ‘Celebrate Me Home,’ Kenny Loggins

A song for any season, really, with its sentiment of longing to be somewhere familiar.
12. ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,’ Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band

This sinewy rock version was recorded by the band in 1975 at a show in New York and remains a live favorite.
13. ‘Grown-up Christmas List,’ Natalie Cole

Written by David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner, the sweet ballad is a vital gut check every holiday season.
14. ‘Same Old Lang Syne,’ Dan Fogelberg

If you don’t melt at Fogelberg’s delicately rendered line, “as I turned to make my way back home, the snow…turned into rain,” then we’re very sorry you are not in possession of a heart.
15. ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,’ The Jackson 5

The darling vocals of Michael Jackson and his brothers and the unfettered glee in the 1970 arrangement are undiminished.
We love The Jackson 5’s version of ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.’
16. ‘Santa Baby,’ Eartha Kitt

Considered controversial in 1953. Let that sink in.
17. ‘Happy X-mas (War is Over),’ John Lennon and Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band

An anti-war song that is devoid of typical holiday sentimentality, the swooping anthem has nonetheless become an annual necessity.
18. ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas,’ Band Aid

Oft-maligned now, but there can be no denying the incredible feat Bob Geldof executed to corral some of the U.K.’s finest – from Bono to Bowie, Duran Duran to George Michael – all in the name of charity.
19. ‘Silent Night,’ Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood

Though usually best appreciated in hushed versions, the glorious vocalizing of this trio captivates.
20. ‘Gloria (Angels We Have Heard on High),’ Michael W. Smith

An underrated maestro whose piano and synthesizer compositions are consistently emotional and triumphant.
21. ‘White Christmas,’ Bing Crosby

The Irving Berlin standard, written for the 1942 film “Holiday Inn,” won an Academy Award for best original song at the 15th annual ceremony.
22. ‘Winter Wonderland,’ Jason Mraz

It might not be the most popular version of the jaunty 1934 song (that honor goes to Perry Como and later, Eurythmics). But Mraz’s unique vocal stylings are the most memorable.
23. ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ John Denver and The Muppets
John Denver and Kermit the Frog laugh during the taping of a Muppet Christmas special in Los Angeles in a Nov. 16, 1979.

The endearing folkie’s vocal quirks are appealing enough, but add in the contributions of Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Kermit and resistance is futile.
24. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ Gene Autry

A singalong directed at children, yet who among us hasn’t gotten swept up in that chorus?
25. ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ Josh Groban

Written as a tribute to soldiers overseas who yearn to be with their families at Christmas, the original by Bing Crosby is the standard-bearer. But Groban admirably communicates the song’s deep poignancy.
26. ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ Brenda Lee

Recorded when Lee was only 13, the 1958 staple is still a regular on the Billboard charts and peaked at No. 2 in 2020.

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‘Annie Live!’: NBC bets its bottom dollar on another old-school musical for a ‘new generation’

The sun will come out tomorrow. But Sandy will have to wait.

It’s late afternoon on a labyrinthine Long Island soundstage, where the cast of NBC’s “Annie Live!” (Thursday, 8 EST/delayed PST) is performing the first full dress rehearsal of the show just two days before Thanksgiving. Mop-topped “orphans,” some of them masked, are bemoaning the hard-knock life as they clap, stomp and tumble across the floor with cleaning rags in hand. Taraji P. Henson, who plays seedy orphanage head Miss Hannigan, is fanning herself and chugging water from a prop vodka bottle between scenes.

Celina Smith, the 12-year-old newcomer picked from 2,000 girls to play plucky ragamuffin Annie, is preparing to serenade stray pooch Sandy with the musical’s signature tune, “Tomorrow.” But the actress’ four-legged co-star – also named Sandy – is sitting out this particular rehearsal as crew members tinker with set changes and camera blocking. Ever the consummate professional, Smith gamely pets the air and cuddles an invisible mutt while she belts out the heart-tugging anthem.

“It feels weird, but it’s gonna have to do for now,” Smith says of her pantomiming. “Singing the song is fun, so I don’t really mind!”

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“Annie Live!” cast members Harry Connick, Jr., left, Celina Smith, Nicole Scherzinger, Tituss Burgess, Sandy the dog, and Taraji P. Henson pose in costume ahead of Thursday’s live broadcast on NBC.

“Annie Live!” is a splashy TV production of the classic Tony-winning show, which first premiered on Broadway in 1977 and has spawned three film adaptations (most recently in 2014, starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis). The musical, based on a 1920s comic strip, tells the timeless story of a cheerful orphan named Annie who wins over grumpy billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Harry Connick Jr.) while staying at his mansion for Christmas.

The show is NBC’s first live musical since 2018’s critically acclaimed (but modestly rated) “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” starring John Legend. Like fellow broadcasters ABC and Fox, NBC has found mixed success with its live musical events, which kicked off in 2013 with Carrie Underwood’s “The Sound of Music Live,” drawing a robust 18.6 million same-day viewers, according to Nielsen. Ratings sagged for more recent productions of “Peter Pan,” “The Wiz” and “Hairspray,” the network’s lowest rated live musical at 9 million viewers in 2016.

“If we fail, everyone goes, ‘Uh! We can’t do a musical anymore,’ and the whole genre gets put on the shelf,” says former NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt, who’s producing “Annie.” “There’s been a couple live musicals over the years that haven’t done that well, like ‘Rent’ and ‘A Christmas Story’ (on Fox). Each time that happens, we go, ‘Oh, shoot.’ ”
Liesel (Ariane Rinehart, left), Maria (Carrie Underwood), Kurt (Joe West), Brigitta (Sophia Anne-Caruso) and Friedrich (Michael Nigro) in a scene from NBC’s mega-successful “The Sound of Music Live!”

After NBC canceled its 2019 broadcast of “Hair” due in part to the fraught political climate, Greenblatt reached out to executive producer Neil Meron during COVID with the idea of doing “Annie.”

“We thought, ‘If anyone’s going to do a live musical, it would be this one,” Greenblatt says. “It’s a big, family-friendly, fun, optimistic musical. And there aren’t that many blue-chip musicals with titles that are just known to everyone.”

Unlike the 2014 movie, which was set in present day and used pop/hip-hop arrangements, “Annie Live!” is faithful to the show’s original Broadway score and Great Depression-era setting. But it still resonates today: Warbucks makes a casual remark about “Broadway getting back on its feet again” in spite of hard times, which feels especially poignant coming off the 18-month pandemic shutdown of New York theaters. Producers also took a colorblind approach to casting with stars including Tituss Burgess as con artist Rooster and Nicole Scherzinger as Warbucks’ head of household Grace.

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“We thought, ‘It’s 2022 almost – let’s just put people in these roles that we love,’ ” Greenblatt says.

“In terms of diversity, ‘Annie’ is a classic and every generation needs to own their classics,” adds Meron, who with late producing partner Craig Zadan was behind several TV musicals, including ABC’s 1997 “Cinderella” starring Brandy and Whitney Houston. “It was the same theory even then: If you’re going to be redoing it, you need to let the new generation own it. And I think the way we cast (‘Annie’) and we’re approaching it is for the current audience.”

Henson grew up venerating Carol Burnett’s Hannigan in the 1982 “Annie” movie. “This is a role I certainly didn’t think I would ever play,” she says. “I haven’t seen a Black woman portray Miss Hannigan yet … and that’s the beautiful thing about these plays that have been around for a long time: just getting different people to play the same characters with their interpretation.”

The “Empire” star studied musical theater as a drama student at Howard University. Although she sang on “Saturday Night Live” and Three 6 Mafia’s Oscar-winning “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” “I don’t think a lot of my fans know this about me,” Henson says. “This is really a chance for people to see me perform in this light.”

Like Henson, Connick was familiar with “Annie” through John Huston’s film and has a theater background, starring in the latest Broadway revival of “The Pajama Game.” He appreciates the “complex” yet “wonderful” relationship between Warbucks and Annie – a dynamic that Smith elevates.

“If you tell her something, she incorporates that into her (performance) immediately,” Connick says. “She’s very present, so smart and and just a real joy. I absolutely adore her.”

Graphite Health Hires Senior Intermountain Healthcare Executive as Chief Operating Officer Latest Updates 2021

Graphite Health, a new member-led company intent on transforming digital healthcare to improve patient outcomes and lower costs, today announced that Ryan Smith, vice president and chief information officer of Intermountain Healthcare, will become its new chief operating officer. Intermountain was one of the first three health systems to join Graphite Health as an organizing member along with SSM Health and Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

“We’re ecstatic to have an individual with Ryan’s deep experience and acumen joining our team,” said Ries Robinson, MD, CEO of Graphite Health. “Ryan understands the challenges of both healthcare system leaders and digital health entrepreneurs firsthand, and he will ensure Graphite Health creates a solution that enables healthcare’s digital transformation.”

“We’re excited to have one of our top leaders become a key Graphite Health executive,” said Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Intermountain Healthcare and board chairman of Graphite Health. “Ryan is one of the strongest operational leaders I’ve worked with and he brings an in-depth understanding of health system needs, coupled with a passion for digital transformation in healthcare.”

Smith has extensive experience in leading information technology systems and teams at healthcare systems and private health care support organizations. In addition to his current role at Intermountain, he’s also been senior vice president and executive advisor at Health Catalyst, a leading provider of data and analytics technology and services to healthcare organizations, and senior vice president and chief information officer at Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in the country. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Utah and an MBA from Western Governors University.

“Ryan is a highly strategic leader and this move further signifies how committed we are to transforming healthcare’s digital ecosystem,” said Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare.

At Graphite Health, Smith will report to Robinson. He will be responsible for operationalizing Graphite Health’s objectives, building and leading a diverse team, managing corporate partnerships, and managing critical deliverables.

“I’ve been intrigued by Graphite Health’s unique value proposition from the beginning and have enjoyed being involved in the organization’s strategic planning,” said Smith. “I love my current role at Intermountain, but I see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help shift digital health on an even broader scale. From my experience, I know how critical it is for healthcare systems to have a more efficient and trusted way to adopt valuable digital health tools, and for digital health entrepreneurs to have a more seamless way to scale and integrate within the complexity of healthcare systems. I’m thrilled to be joining this dynamic team to help bridge these significant challenges and ultimately bring value to all stakeholders.”

Smith will continue to serve as CIO of Intermountain through first quarter 2022 as he ramps up in his new position at Graphite Health. This will ensure ample time to transition his current role.

As previously announced, Stanley M. Huff, MD, FACMI, chief medical informatics officer at Intermountain Healthcare will also join Graphite Health. Intermountain is licensing its medical informatics intellectual property to Graphite Health free of charge.

Building on a common data language, Graphite Health is creating a standardized, interoperable data platform that enables a secure and open marketplace to streamline the distribution of digital health solutions for both health systems and entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, the common data language addresses inefficiencies in data translation and supports the development of plug-and-play digital applications. In turn, health system members can implement trusted digital tools as easily as anyone can download an app from an app store to a smartphone. These improvements will lead to more convenience, better quality care for patients, lower costs, and overall efficiency.

About Graphite Health
Graphite Health is a member-led company intent on transforming digital healthcare to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. By making data interoperability easy and affordable, Graphite Health facilitates the rapid adoption of digital health solutions and uses that platform structure to run a secure and open digital app marketplace. This will bring significant efficiencies to health systems’ operations, create a more modern and convenient patient experience that promotes better care, and make it easier for digital health entrepreneurs to implement their solutions at scale. Graphite Health is guided by the Digital Hippocratic Oath, which puts the privacy and trust of patients and providers first. Graphite’s founding members include: Intermountain Healthcare, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and SSM Health. For more information.

Exocad Releases ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway Software for Single-visit Dentistry in North America : Latest Updates

exocad, an Align Technology, Inc. company and a leading dental CAD/CAM software provider, today announced the availability of ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway in the United States and Canada.

The next-generation CAD software for single-visit dentistry will be showcased by exocad at the 2021 Greater New York Dental Meeting in New York City, held between November 28 and December 1.

This new release will provide dentists with design tools for a vast range of indications along with a wide choice of integrated devices. The chairside workflow is highly automated, intuitive and optimized for practice use. Newer users of CAD/CAM can benefit from fast wizard-guided workflows, while expert users can select free design sequences that offer greater flexibility.

The software includes a step-by-step guide through the design process and a smooth integration with open intraoral scanners, production devices and implant systems. ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway also enables the in-house design of FDA-cleared custom abutments. “This software was designed to help clinicians who are adopting a single-visit dentistry model,” said Larry Bodony, president, exocad America, Inc. “With ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway, dentists can streamline their workflow – from the first restorative steps to the manufacture of the surgical components needed to complete a treatment plan.”

The new release offers improved automatic design proposals. Instant Anatomic Morphing enables efficient adjustments: the anatomy of teeth automatically adjusts in real-time for dynamic occlusion. Smile design with exocad’s advanced 2D/3D approach is now faster, thanks to AI-based detection of facial features. exocad’s cloud-based data transfer tool, dentalshare, simplifies the communication and collaboration between clinicians, dental technicians and production centers. ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway seamlessly integrates with exocad’s leading lab and guided surgery software programs, DentalCAD and exoplan.

Users of the new ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway can benefit from an in-office system that integrates with their current workflows. Further highlights include:

Highly automated pre-op workflow: dentists can easily recreate the existing tooth anatomy if they choose to maintain the exact same shape and function of the tooth
In-house design of custom abutments and screw-retained restorations (FDA-cleared)
Expanded options for seamless integrations of intraoral scanners, 3D printers and milling machines
Bi-directional communication with exocad’s guided surgery solution exoplan*
Simple interdisciplinary collaboration between practitioners and dental laboratories through efficient integration with DentalCAD, exocad’s leading lab software

In 2021, for the third year in a row, the Cellerant Group, an independent group of technology-minded clinicians, selected ChairsideCAD as their 2021 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award winner for clinical design software.
ChairsideCAD 3.0 Galway is now available in North America, EU and other select markets. exocad names its releases after current EU “European Capitals of Culture” and selected the Irish city of Galway for the current release cycle.

* Product available in selected markets only. Check with your local distributor for availability.

About exocad
exocad GmbH, an Align Technology, Inc. company, is a leading dental CAD/CAM software provider. exocad vigorously pushes the boundaries of digital dentistry, providing flexible, reliable, and easy-to-use CAD/CAM software for dental labs and dental practices worldwide. exocad America, Inc., a subsidiary of exocad GmbH, is headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. More than 45,000 valued customers plan implants and create functional and refined restorations with exocad’s DentalCAD, ChairsideCAD and exoplan software. For more information and a list of exocad reseller partners, please visit exocadcom

SOURCE exocad GmbH

COVID-19 updates: Fauci says omicron variant might ‘evade immune protection 2021

The omicron mutation of the coronavirus “strongly suggests” it is easily transmitted and might elude immunity protections gained by previous infections and even vaccination, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday.

“It’s not necessarily that that’s going to happen, but it’s a strong indication that we really need to be prepared for that,” Fauci said on “Meet the Press,” adding that omicron ” just kind of exploded” in South Africa.

Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, lauded the efforts of South African public health officials, who he said were completely transparent from the beginning. U.S officials were getting real-time information last week and continue to receive updates, he said.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, told Fox News Sunday that it will take two or three weeks to tell whether antibodies from vaccines or previous infections will be effective against omicron.

“We expect that most likely the current vaccines will be sufficient to provide protection,” Collins said. “And especially the boosters will give that additional layer of protection.”

Collins and Fauci both said the troubling emergence of omicron is yet another reason for Americans to get vaccinated and obtain booster shots.

“Whether or not we’re headed into a bleak or bleaker winter is really going to depend upon what we do,” Fauci said. “So this is a clarion call as far as I’m concerned of saying let’s put aside all of these differences that we have and say, ‘if you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you’re fully vaccinated, get boosted, and get the children vaccinated also.’ We now have time.”

Also in the news:

►Ten preteens from across New York state have won the first round of college scholarships in the state’s “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” contest for 5- to 11-year-olds who get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Saturday.

►The Dallas Cowboys are going virtual with meetings leading into Thursday’s game at New Orleans because of a rise in infections within the team. Right tackle Terence Steele was among the positive COVID-19 tests and won’t play against the Saints, coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday.

►At least 161 Colorado companies and individuals who owed millions in back taxes still qualified for federal pandemic relief loans, a KUSA-TV investigation found. “Essentially, they’re benefiting from taxpayer money without contributing to the system,” said Tim Stretton, a director at the Project On Government Oversight.

►Swiss voters appeared set Sunday to approve legislation for a special certificate that lets only people who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative attend public events and gatherings.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 48.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 776,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 261.2 million cases and nearly 5.2 million deaths. More than 196.1 million Americans – roughly 59.1% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘What we’re reading: The message from the Arizona governor’s office was adamant earlier this year: More than 2,000 applications for vouchers to move students out of schools with COVID-19 restrictions was clear evidence that Arizona families wanted school choice. The reality is much different.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch free newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.
WHO lobbies against flight bans targeting South Africa

The World Health Organization on Sunday urged countries around the world not to impose flight bans on southern African nations because of concerns over the new omicron variant. WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, called on countries to follow science and international health regulations. The U.S. plans to ban travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries starting Monday.

“Travel restrictions may play a role in slightly reducing the spread of COVID-19 but place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” Moeti said in a statement. “If restrictions are implemented, they should not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive and should be scientifically based.”
Too soon to know details of omicron variant, WHO says

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of South African Medical Association, was one of the first doctors in South Africa to detect the new omicron variant. She told Reuters that the symptoms were “very mild” and could be treated at home. However, initial reported infections were among university students – younger individuals who tend to have relatively mild symptoms, according to the World Health Organization.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with omicron are different from those from other variants,” WHO said in a statement released Sunday. It could take weeks to determine whether there is any difference, WHO said.

Preliminary research did show that people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with omicron compared to other variants of concern, the statement said.

– Michelle Shen
Just as travel approaches normal, omicron could fuel bans

Air travel is approaching pre-pandemic levels, the United States just reopened to international tourists, and summer vacations to Europe were expected to soar in 2022. Then, in recent days, the emergence of the omicron variant instantly sparked restrictions on travel in some nations. The United States, which lifted a pandemic-long travel ban from dozens of international countries including South Africa on Nov. 8, on Monday will re-institute the ban for foreign nationals from eight African countries.

The CDC issued a level 4 advisory, its highest, because of “very high” COVID levels, which carries an “avoid travel” designation. The State Department, whose COVID advisories generally parallel the CDC’s, also raised the countries to level 4, which means “do not travel.”

“Amid this this rapidly evolving situation, it is critical that U.S. government decisions regarding international travel restrictions and requirements be rooted in science,” said Carter Yang, spokesman for the airline lobbying group Airlines for America

Tang Prize Laureates Reflect on the Breakthroughs Made Possible by Cytokine Research 2021

Following the inspiring opening speech, “Future Perspective of Cancer Immunotherapy,” delivered by Nobel Prize and Tang Prize laureate Prof. Tasuku Honjo at the 14th Asia Pacific Federation of Pharmacologist Conference (APFP) on November 26, the 2020 Tang Prize Laureate’s Lecture for Biopharmaceutical Science, co-organized by the Tang Prize Foundation and The Pharmacological Society in Taiwan, took place at the 14th APFP at 1:30 p.m. (GMT+8) on November 27. Co-hosted by Dr. Wen-Chang Chang, chair of Taipei Medical University’s board of directors, and Dr. Yun Yen, chair professor at Taipei Medical University, this special session featured lectures delivered by three winners for the 2020 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, Drs. Charles Dinarello, Marc Feldmann, and Tadamitsu Kishimoto, providing valuable informaiton on the role cytokines play in inflammation and the COVID-19 disease as well as possible treatments.

The first lecture by Dr. Dinarello, titled “Interleukin-1: The Prime Mediator of Systemic and Local Inflammation,” began with his purification of leukocytic pryogen from human white blood cells in 1971. It then took him six years to identify two fever-producing molecules, later named IL-1αand IL-1β. In 1977, the research outcomes were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and for Dr. Dinarello, “that was an important step in the history of cytokine biology,” because many people in the field of life science were encouraged to study the immune system’s influence on human physiology. As a result, cytokine biology expanded rapidly. He also talked about how after the early experiments in humans, “the history of cytokines being used as a treatment changed dramatically,” and the focus was shifted to “inhibiting cytokines, such as IL-1, such as TNF, such as IL-6.” To help the audience understand the complicated network constituted by the pro-inflammatory molecules of the IL-1 family, Dr. Dinarello elaborated on the signal transduction of IL-1 family members, their pro- and anti-inflammatory characteristics, and the symptoms of different inflammatory diseases, so as to ease the way for the audience to get a proper grasp of the second half of the lecture which centered on “the clinical application of Il-1 blockade.” IL-1 overproduction, as Dr. Dinarello remarked, is a common cause of many diseases. IL-1Ra, on the other hand, can inhibit Il-1αandβ, and block the IL-1R signaling. Anakinra, a recombinant human IL-1Ra has been produced. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and can also prevent glycemic disorders in type 2 diabetes. Moreover, canakinumab, an anti-IL-1βmonoclonal antibody successfully developed by Novartis, has been approved in a variety of diseases, ranging from rare hereditary diseases, rheumatic diseases, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, to cardiovascular diseases. The most exciting news involving canakinumab is the clinical trial, CANTOS, which unexpectedly proved that canakinumab has an important role in treating cancer. Therefore, Dr. Dinarello believes that blocking IL-1 can usher in the dawn of a new cancer treatment.

The second speaker, Dr. Feldmann, shared his views on “Translating Molecular Insights in Autoimmunity into Effective Therapy.” The emphasis of the first half of his lecture was on how he discovered that anti-TNF can be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Administrating either high or low doses of this drug can block TNF while also rapidly reducing the production of other inflammatory mediators. In their earlier experiments, Dr. Feldmann and his team demonstrated that around 50% of people with rheumatoid arthritis responded to the combination therapy using anti-TNF and the cancer drug methotrexate. That led him to believe that “we’ve got a long way to go before every patient is cured.” During the second half of the talk, Dr. Feldmann informed us that “TNF is a very unusual meditator, because it has two different targets: TNF receptor-1(TNFR1), which drives inflammation, and TNF receptor 2, which does the very opposite. So if you block all of TNF, you block of receptors. You block inflammation, but you also prevent the body’s attempt to dampen down the inflammation.” Therefore, he and his colleagues are “in the process of generating tools” and has already blocked TNFR1 without change the function of regulatory T cells. In addition, Dr. Feldmann mentioned the potential of anti-TNF for addressing many unmet medical needs, such as treating fibrosis of the hand by injecting anti-TNF into the palm. However, he pointed out the two obvious disadvantages of the anti-TNF he first developed: it was cost-prohibitive and “it was an injectable drug.” Thus, to develop “cheaper drugs that could be delivered by mouth” would bring greater benefit to the society. Throughout the lecture, Dr. Feldmann kept bringing up many people with whom he was or is collaborating for different projects and experiments, as he tried to drive home the message that what he had learned from these experiences was “how to work effectively with others” to ensure continuous breakthroughs in their research. It has been the hallmark of his career to find “talented people to work with,” and, “together with them,” to achieve much more “than we could alone.”

Presenting the third lecture on the topic “Interleukin-6: From Arthritis to CAR-T and COVID-19,” Dr. Kishimoto drew the audience’s attention to how IL-6 was discovered, why IL-6 is a pleiotropic molecule, and why IL-6 “is responsible for both antibody production as well as inflammation induction.” He also shed light on IL-6’s effects on autoimmune diseases and how IL-6 can trigger cytokine storms. Early on in his talk, Dr. Kistimoto made clear that the overproduction of IL-6 has found to be associated with many diseases, such as cardiac myxoma, Castleman’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic onset of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). To tackle the inflammatory responses provoked by IL-6 overproduction, Dr. Kishimoto and his team tried to treat patients by blocking IL-6 signals. Subsequently, tocilizumab, a recombinant humanized anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, was successfully developed and has been approved for use in more than 100 countries for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and JIA. With regard to how the production of IL-6 is regulated and why IL-6 overproduction often occurs in chronic inflammatory diseases, Dr. Kishimoto explained that the stabilization of IL-6 strongly depended on its messenger RNA. To rescue patients suffering from CAR-T cell-induced cytokine storms, many in the medical profession now will use tocilizumab to cushion the side effects of this therapy. In view of this example, Dr. Kishimoto and his team speculated that tocilizumab can also be effective in helping seriously-ill COVID-19 patients combat cytokine storms. Several large-scale clinical trials proved that it can lower the possibility of requiring invasive ventilation or the risk of death. For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have both issued an Emergency Use Authorization for tocilizumab for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. In this lecture, Dr. Kishimoto gave us a comprehensive overview of the research on IL-6 he led his team in carrying out over the past 50 years. It was a journey that took them from basic research to drug development and clinical application.

These three lectures by the 2020 Tang Prize laureates in Biopharmaceutical Science will be premiered on the Tang Prize YouTube channel from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (GMT+8) on November 27. To watch the complete version of the “2020 Tang Prize Laureate’s Lectures for Biopharmaceutical Science,” please consult the schedule below.

Latest Updates: Danone Join Forces with Five Other Food Industry Players and Win the 2021 Sirius Prize

To meet the demand from consumers in France seeking better eating habits, Carrefour and Danone built an unprecedented partnership with several other major national brands: Barilla, Bel, Mars Food, Savencia and Unilever, with the support of The Consumer Goods Forum.

Tasty, balanced recipes, rated Nutriscore A or B were published online in March 2020 and May 2021 on the “Carrefour.fr” website. All the recipes on offer were developed using products from national brands (Barilla, Danone du Monde Skyr, Knorr, La Vache qui rit, Le Rustique, Ben’s Original™…) and Carrefour products. Most of the products on offer were made available on promotion, to allow everyone to cook balanced meals at affordable prices.

A targeted digital campaign in May 2021 drove traffic to the Carrefour.fr website, with three live cooking sessions featuring “750g” recipes made by their team of chefs. This fully collaborative project has had a real impact, gathering 1.5 million views on the live cooking sessions, +21% sales of organic products from the e-shoppers, an increase in fruit and vegetables purchases (+8%), index 110 on Nutriscore A and B products in the shopping carts of the e-shoppers that visited the page, and +18% references for the featured brands.

Florence Du Buit, Group CSR Manager, Carrefour: “Carrefour is convinced that with our partners, by working hand in hand, and with new technologies, we can support our customers towards a healthier and easier diet.”

Thomas Kyriaco, CSR Client Director, Danone: “We are committed to giving consumers the means to make better choices and supporting them in shifting their consumption habits, thanks to new digital technologies.”

Alban Chenal, Global Retail Senior Key Account Manager, Barilla: “For Barilla, it is essential to make healthier and more accessible recipes available.”

Caroline Chesneau, Group Nutrition Director, Bel: “At Bel, we believe in promoting healthier behaviours, collectively.”

Florence Charbonneau, Digital Manager, Mars Food: “Providing healthy, tasty, convenient, accessible to all and quality products is in the DNA of Mars Food’s mission of ‘better food today, a better world tomorrow.'”

Charlotte Schlosser, Innovation & Brand Experience Manager, Unilever: “Knorr helps promote home cooking, with convenient and delicious recipes for the whole family.”

Nikta Vaghefi, Nutrition Director, Savencia: “For Savencia, it is about putting pleasure at the centre of the healthy and sustainable plate and facilitating more positive behaviours.”

Sharon Bligh, Healthier Lives Director, The Consumer Goods Forum: “It’s great to see CGF members collaborating on this important subject and it’s great to see such collective action driving positive change and empowering consumers to live healthier lives.”

WHO urges countries to consider the benefits of vaccinating children against Covid-19, but prioritize sharing shots globally first

In a new interim statement, the World Health Organization on Wednesday called for nations to consider the benefits of vaccinating children and adolescents against Covid-19 — but to prioritize sharing vaccines globally before proceeding to vaccinate children.
“Countries should consider the individual and population benefits of immunising children and adolescents in their specific epidemiological and social context when developing their COVID-19 immunisation policies and programs,” said the statement, published Wednesday.
WHO has long argued that older adults, people with chronic health conditions and health workers should be prioritized for vaccines and that it is “less urgent” to vaccinate children. The new statement acknowledges that some countries that have already distributed vaccines to those prioritized groups, including the United States, are now rolling out vaccines to children.

The countries that are vaccinating children against Covid-19
The countries that are vaccinating children against Covid-19
In addition to the US and most members of the European Union, other countries vaccinating children include Cuba, which was the first country to vaccinate children as young as 2 starting in September, Chile, China, El Salvador and the United Arab Emirates.

“As a matter of global equity, as long as many parts of the world are facing extreme vaccine shortages, countries that have achieved high vaccine coverage in their high-risk populations should prioritize global sharing of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility before proceeding to vaccination of children and adolescents who are at low risk for severe disease,” WHO’s statement said. COVAX is WHO’s global vaccine sharing program.
“Given current global inequity in vaccine access, the decision to vaccinate adolescents and children must account for prioritization to fully protect the highest risk subgroups through primary vaccination series, and as vaccine effectiveness declines with time since vaccination, through booster doses,” the WHO statement said.
“As such, before considering implementing primary vaccination series in adolescents and children, attaining high coverage of primary series – and booster doses as needed based on evidence of waning and optimizing vaccination impact – in highest risk subgroups, such as older adults, must be considered.”
A push to vaccinate the world
WHO has long called for global vaccine equity.
In August, WHO pressed the 20 most powerful world leaders and pharmaceutical chiefs to reverse “disgraceful” inequity in access to vaccines by the fall.
WHO calls for world leaders and pharmaceutical chiefs to end ‘disgraceful’ global vaccine inequality
WHO calls for world leaders and pharmaceutical chiefs to end ‘disgraceful’ global vaccine inequality
Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to WHO’s director-general and head of the ACT Accelerator Initiative, said in an August social media Q&A that the world should be “disgusted” by the imbalance of available tools to fight the pandemic. He appealed to the world’s wealthiest nations to focus on helping all countries vaccinate 10% of their populations by September 2021.
That goal was not met, as “56 countries who were effectively excluded from the global vaccine marketplace were not able to reach the target of vaccinating 10% of their populations by the end of September — and most of them in Africa,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news briefing last month.
Earlier in the pandemic, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) issued a “roadmap” on how to prioritize Covid-19 vaccine supply starting with the most at-risk groups, an approach that has been adopted by most countries.
“I think whether children get vaccinated or not will depend a lot on, firstly, how we are able to cover these other priority groups first, what the epidemiology of the disease is,” WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said Wednesday at a news briefing in Geneva.
Millions of children worldwide missed routine vaccinations during the pandemic, study suggests
Millions of children worldwide missed routine vaccinations during the pandemic, study suggests
She added that more data is needed on children to better understand how much natural infection has occurred among their age group, something that will vary country by country.
“Then when we get to the goals of reducing transmission, really down to very low levels, at that point, one might consider, of course, vaccinating children as well,” Swaminathan said.
“I think the guidance on children will be very contextual and specific to local context,” she said. “But, we also need to then wait for more vaccines to have the data in children before we can make further recommendations.”
WHO notes in its new interim statement that there are benefits to vaccinating children and adolescents that go beyond direct health benefits, including that vaccinations can help keep schools safely open and decrease coronavirus transmission in other age groups, including older adults.
WHO also states that it is of “utmost importance” that children continue to get their recommended childhood vaccinations for other infectious diseases.
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In data published in July, WHO reported that 23 million children overall missed out on basic routine immunizations last year — which is 3.7 million more than who missed out in 2019.

“Even as countries clamor to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis,” Tedros said in the July announcement.
“Multiple disease outbreaks would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already battling COVID-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccination and ensure every child is reached.”

La UE otorga la aprobación de AMIVAS Ireland Ltd. para comercializar el artesunato amivas

WATERFORD, Irlanda, 24 de noviembre de 2021 /PRNewswire/ — AMIVAS Ireland Ltd., especialistas en tratamientos para enfermedades tropicales raras y desatendidas, incluida la malaria grave, anunció hoy que la Comisión Europea ha otorgado la aprobación para que la compañía comercialice su producto líder, Artesunato Amivas (artesunato), en la UE / EEE.

La aprobación se basó en la reciente recomendación del Comité de Medicamentos de Uso Humano (CHMP) de conceder la autorización de comercialización del medicamento Artesunato Amivas (artesunato), destinado al tratamiento inicial de malaria grave en adultos y niños.

Artesunato Amivas estará disponible en 110 mg de polvo y disolvente para solución inyectable.

Artesunato tiene una designación huérfana para Europa por parte de la Agencia Europea de Medicamentos (EMA) desde 2007, pero hasta hoy, no tiene autorización de comercialización en Europa.

La mortalidad por malaria grave no tratada (especialmente malaria cerebral) se acerca al 100 por ciento.

El lanzamiento europeo de Artesunato Amivas se iniciará en los próximos meses a medida que AMIVAS acelere la producción y establezca canales de distribución para satisfacer las necesidades de tratamiento de las aproximadamente 1.250 personas que presentan malaria grave en Europa cada año. La mayoría de esos casos se diagnostican en turistas a África y en personal militar desplegado en regiones donde la malaria es endémica.

“Recibir la aprobación de la Comisión Europea para comercializar Artesunato Amivas en la UE/ EEE es extremadamente gratificante”, dijo Sean Power, director de AMIVAS Ireland Ltd. “Ahora, los médicos que tratan a pacientes que han progresado a una malaria grave tendrán un contexto legal más satisfactorio para hacerlo y, por lo tanto, pueden tener aún más confianza en la decisión de tratamiento clínico para esta afección muy grave, pero tratable”.

“Recibir un tratamiento inyectable seguro, eficaz y de acción rápida sin demora es, literalmente, un imperativo para salvar la vida de un paciente diagnosticado con malaria grave”, dijo Bryan Smith, M.D., director médico de AMIVAS. “En AMIVAS, nuestra experiencia está en ayudar a los pacientes y nuestro enfoque está en el tiempo. El lanzamiento europeo de Artesunato Amivas será un hito emocionante a alcanzar debido a lo que significará para los pacientes con malaria severa y los médicos que los atienden”.

Se ha demostrado que el artesunato intravenoso mejora la supervivencia en pacientes con malaria grave en áreas endémicas y en EE. UU., con un beneficio particular para los pacientes con parasitemia alta. Otros beneficios del tratamiento con artesunato intravenoso, como la unidad de cuidados intensivos (UCI) más corta y el tratamiento hospitalario, se demostraron claramente en pacientes europeos.

El desarrollo de Artesunato Amivas en EE. UU. se llevó a cabo bajo el Comando de Investigación y Desarrollo Médico del Ejército de los EE. UU. (USAMRDC). Dentro de USAMRDC, el trabajo colaborativo del Instituto de Investigación del Ejército de Walter Reed y la Actividad de Desarrollo de Material Médico del Ejército de EE. UU. (USAMMDA) ha proporcionado a los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) un suministro constante de artesunato intravenoso desde 2007. USAMMDA estableció un acuerdo de investigación y desarrollo cooperativo con AMIVAS para modernizar la fabricación de artesunato y registrar el producto con la Administración de Drogas y Alimentos de los EE. UU.

La aprobación de la Comisión Europea ahora cumple con un objetivo estratégico clave para apoyar a los aliados de la OTAN de Estados Unidos con una contramedida médica aprobada por la EMA para la malaria grave.

Dónde buscar más información
La información del producto aprobada por el Comité de Medicamentos de Uso Humano (CHMP) de Artesunato Amivas contiene información de prescripción para profesionales sanitarios, un prospecto para el público y detalles de las condiciones de la autorización de Artesunato Amivas. Un informe de evaluación, con detalles de la evaluación de la EMA de Artesunato Amivas, está disponible en el sitio web de la EMA. También está disponible una descripción general de Artesunato Amivas escrito en lenguaje común, que incluye una descripción de los beneficios y riesgos del medicamento y una descripción de por qué la EMA recomendó la autorización de Artesunato Amivas en la UE. Para obtener más información sobre Artesunate Amivas, incluido el resumen de las características del producto y el folleto de información para el paciente en los respectivos idiomas europeos, visite www.AMIVAS.eu o www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/search.

Estudios clínicos

La seguridad y eficacia del artesunato intravenoso se estudiaron en tres ensayos, incluido el ensayo de malaria con artesunato de quinina del sudeste asiático (SEAQUAMAT) y el ensayo de malaria con artesunato de quinina africana (AQUAMAT). Estos dos estudios examinaron un total de 6.886 pacientes e incluyeron adultos, niños y mujeres embarazadas. El artesunato IV redujo la mortalidad en un 34,7 por ciento y un 22,5 por ciento en comparación con el fármaco inyectable estándar de atención en los estudios SEAQUMAT y AQUAMAT, respectivamente. También se recopilaron datos entre enero de 2007 y diciembre de 2010 sobre 102 pacientes estadounidenses con paludismo grave o complicado que recibieron artesunato intravenoso según el protocolo de acceso ampliado de los CDC. Noventa y dos pacientes recibieron al menos una administración de fármaco a las 0, 12, 24 y 48 horas. Estos pacientes de EE. UU. Incluían adultos, niños, mujeres embarazadas y adultos mayores. La mayoría eran negros o afroamericanos, el 25 por ciento eran blancos, el 9 por ciento eran asiáticos. Siete pacientes murieron por complicaciones de la malaria grave (tasa de mortalidad, 6,9 por ciento). La principal fuente de financiación para el análisis de datos de los pacientes inscritos en el estudio de los CDC fue la Oficina del Cirujano General, Departamento del Ejército de EE. UU. Si bien no se reclutó activamente a ningún personal de servicio en ninguno de los ensayos clínicos de Artesunato IV, a varios miembros del servicio se les ofreció tratamiento de emergencia según el protocolo de los CDC.

Para notificar SOSPECHAS DE REACCIONES ADVERSAS, comuníquese con AMIVAS Ireland Ltd. en MICC.AMIVAS@4cpharma.com. En otros países, consulte los siguientes números de teléfono, respectivamente:

AMIVAS España:

900 997 936

AMIVAS Suiza:

0800 564 848

(Sólo acceso al país)

AMIVAS Alemania:

0800 4007347

AMIVAS Francia:

0 800 91 38 08

AMIVAS RU:

0800 014 8494

AMIVAS Italia:

800 697 941

(Sólo acceso al país)

Acerca de la malaria y la malaria grave
La malaria es una de las principales causas de muerte de personas en el mundo, especialmente de niños. La malaria grave, una emergencia médica, generalmente incluye síntomas neurológicos, anemia grave, lesión renal aguda, síndrome de dificultad respiratoria aguda o ictericia, ya que una gran cantidad de glóbulos rojos del paciente se infectan con un parásito de la malaria. La malaria falciparum no complicada puede progresar rápidamente a formas graves de la enfermedad, especialmente en personas con inmunidad baja o nula. Sin tratamiento, la malaria grave falciparum casi siempre es mortal.

Es necesario un tratamiento rápido y eficaz dentro de las 24 a 48 horas posteriores al inicio de los síntomas de la malaria.

La malaria, una enfermedad rara, no siempre se reconoce, diagnostica y trata de manera oportuna. Casi todos los casos en Europa ocurren en personas que adquieren la infección mientras se encuentran en un área endémica de malaria y que son diagnosticadas después de regresar a su área de origen. La mayoría no tiene inmunidad adquirida contra la malaria y, por lo tanto, corren el riesgo de desarrollar malaria grave. Un factor importante que contribuye a la persistente mortalidad asociada al paludismo es la demora en el inicio del tratamiento adecuado. La quimioprofilaxis de la malaria y el uso de mosquiteros y repelentes de insectos ayudan a reducir el riesgo de contraer malaria.

Acerca de AMIVAS
AMIVAS es una empresa conjunta estadounidense centrada en el desarrollo, fabricación y comercialización de productos terapéuticos para el tratamiento de enfermedades infecciosas. Con sede en Frederick, Maryland, AMIVAS se formó en 2016 expresamente con el propósito de llevar al mercado tratamientos para enfermedades tropicales raras y desatendidas. AMIVAS Ireland Ltd. es una filial de propiedad total de AMIVAS y es responsable de los mercados europeos.

Descargo de responsabilidad: Las opiniones expresadas en este comunicado son las del autor y no representan necesariamente las opiniones del Ejército de EE. UU., el Departamento de Defensa (DoD) o los CDC de EE. UU. La discusión de productos farmacéuticos específicos no refleja un respaldo a esos productos.

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Latest Updates Giving thanks during a pandemic: ‘We learn to appreciate things when we lose them’

In “Big Yellow Taxi,” the singer/songwriter’s jaunty 1970 tune about loss – of trees, of healthy food, of a love interest – she repeats and repeats, “Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Mitchell is challenging us to not take things for granted. There is a wildly simple way to do that. It’s called expressing gratitude.

Joni Mitchell has written a lot of great lyrics, but one line seems especially apt this Thanksgiving.

Sure, that may sound eye-rollingly New Agey. But in truth, there has never been a better time to be genuinely thankful than this holiday season, one that arrives in the throes of a wrenching two-year global pandemic. In fact, we as a society are uniquely poised to feel profound gratitude because of our tough times.

Taking a road trip for Thanksgiving? Here are the worst times to hit the road
Thanksgiving 2021 arrives amid an era of unprecedented hardship. Let’s not blow this chance to make gratitude a permanent part of our psyche.

If any parallel is apt, it is to those who grappled with the Great Depression. That generation faced a decadelong hardship so profound that it forged a lasting appreciation for the value of hard work and simple pleasures, both enshrined by the mythic paintings of Norman Rockwell.

“COVID-19 was all about death,” says Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley. “This recovery is about a renewed feeling of survival, a gratefulness for backyard barbecues, religious services, or listening to live music. It’s a time of gratitude.”

Consider this our Depression-lite Generation’s chance for an attitude makeover. Perhaps on Turkey Day, ditch those superficial appreciations (“I’m happy my football team won”) in favor of more profound celebrations (“I’m glad Grandpa Joe is here with us”). It’s simple enough, though it does take commitment.

The good news, those who study and lecture on gratitude tell USA TODAY, is that guides abound, from books to podcasts, on how to make time for gratitude. The practice not only makes you feel good but can even train the brain to keep that high alive, they say.

Grandma accidentally invited a stranger to Thanksgiving. Now they are ‘all set for Year 6’

The cautionary word, however, is that humans are prone to what’s called hedonic adaptation, which basically translates to a tendency to revert back to our old – and in this case, unappreciative – ways.

“We are very good at getting used to changes, good and bad, which is what adaptation is, so in that sense, gratitude is the antidote to adaptation,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and author of “The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want.”

In order to keep adaptation from erasing your sense of gratitude, “you need to commit to practicing it, consciously thinking or talking about what you appreciate about your life,” she says. “It’s work.”

But precisely because we have been toiling through a time of unprecedented hardship, experts urge us not to blow this chance to make gratitude a permanent part of our psyche.

“This pandemic is a huge opportunity for us as a society to reset because if you missed the memo, it’s still out there,” says Nancy Davis Kho, author of “The Thank-You Project,” a 2019 book in which she wrote 50 letters of gratitude to friends and family.

Through that yearlong process, Kho’s letters fortified her positive recall bias, which is “a tendency to notice good things around us, whether a good book or dinner or friend, and that rewires your brain so that it’s easier and easier to see those things in your life.”

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