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#KajoPicks: 5 YouTube channels for people who hate working out

Do you have an ever-revolving resolutions list that includes ‘exercise’ on it? Have you ditched a workout routine because you don’t have the stamina or the mental strength?

If you have come to accept that you will never have the staying power to work up to a 6-pack, that’s where YouTube comes in.

It seems you’re not the only one who hates the gym or working out in public. There’s tons of exercise channels you can follow which include ‘quiet’, ‘low-impact’ or even ‘knee-friendly’, which is how I found the ones in this list. They are perfect for the uncoordinated, the rusty and the sedentary.

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Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

For those who hate working out, the YouTube channels listed below, ranked from easy to more intense (they might include high-knees!) may be your gateway to a more active lifestyle.

1. Pahla B Fitness

“Welcome to my home” is the name of one of Pahla Bowers’ warmup moves, which sums up the warmth you’ll be getting when you start following this Functional Fitness Specialist and Boston-qualifying marathon runner.

Always cheerful, never judgmental, Pahla gives out tons of advice during her workouts, and some that stand out to me are that consistence is key; gentle exercise is more important to achieving your fitness goals in the long-term; and (unfortunately) good nutrition still matters when it comes to weight loss.

Sounds common sense, but when you’ve been absorbing body-fitness magazines or beating yourself up for never being consistent with exercise, her advice feels like a gentle release. Like her exercises.

This lady is at the top of my list because her target audience is 50 year olds. For that reason, she will highlight during her videos that you won’t have to get down on the floor and that there will be no jumping. Her discussions throughout her workout will educate you a more about the importance of healthy habit-building and be comforting for women who are moving into their menopausal years.

Watch the channel here.

2. JessicaSmithTV

Only Jessica Smith of this fitness channel can entice sedentary, exercise-averse people to try out HIIT. You’ll hear her say “Do what works for you” a lot throughout her videos, because her emphasis is on getting viewers to enjoy exercise.

Another fitness instructor who emphasises on movement and consistency more than back-breaking intensity, she has more than 450 exercise videos across a wide range of exercise disciplines like pilates, yoga, cardio, kickboxing, dance, barre workouts, or (my favourite) knee-friendly exercises on her channel. You will have so many videos to choose from that will suit your mood or overall fitness.

If you’re feeling depressed or under the weather, her 1-Mile Walk and Talk series is just a walking workout video where she discusses certain themes and topics like stress-relieving tips and self-care. It’s like going on a walk with a friend within the comfort of your home.

Oh, and a mention of JessicaSmithTV isn’t complete without mentioning her French bulldog, Peanut. Think of him as your spirit animal as he occasionally takes naps or plays with a toy while he waits for Jessica to finish up her routine.

Watch the channel here.

3. HASfit (Heart and Soul Fitness)

When you join HASfit, you will be working out with Coach Kozak and his wife Claudia in a combination of bodyweight and dumbbell exercises. Coach Kozak performs the more advanced versions of the exercises while Claudia does the modified ones, perfect for noobs, beginners and everybody in between.

If you’re recovering from an injury, limited mobility or are an elderly person, they even have a playlist which incorporates chair exercises.

If you’re expecting a bun in the oven, you can try out Claudia’s Prenatal workouts (make sure you check with your doctor first).

Meanwhile, if you’re somebody who just can’t stand the repetition of exercise routines, they even have a playlist for beginners and people who get bored easily.

Whatever your level, if you’ve been consistent with exercise so far, you can redo these routines and challenge yourself by following Coach Kozak instead.

Watch the channel here.

4. Bodyfit by Amy

Speaking of buns in the oven, I first found Bodyfit by Amy while I was looking for postnatal workouts to help recover from the weakness, aches and pains you never expect if you’ve only learnt about pregnancy and childbirth from TV (hello lower back pains and diastasis recti). She even has videos to help strengthen muscles you’ll need as you cope with carrying around a newborn.

But if you’re getting ready for your wedding, you can follow her Wedding Workout series instead.

Outside of the pre- and postnatal workout videos, her pace in her other videos are still easy to follow and really focus on form. She has beginner and low-impact workouts, and for those who are looking for a step up, you can follow her kettlebell workouts and TRX workouts.

Watch the channel here.

5. Melissa Bender

Melissa Bender’s slogan on her website is ‘Fitness should be Free’ and she is totally generous with her workout programmes, starting with her #BFBODYFIT 6-month home workout programme.

If you want to start smaller, she has 30 day fitness challenges. If you’re still intimidated, she has a Low Impact Workout playlist which promises no jumping. (Check out where her grey and white cat Gambit makes appearances.)

For those recovering from childbirth and looking to get into fighting fit form, Melissa Bender has a 6-week Postnatal programme, which is still challenging for people who don’t jog or do interval training on a regular basis, so you might have to work up to this programme.

Watch the channel here.

20 videos you should watch on Youtube about Covid-19

During this coronavirus pandemic, fake news and conspiracy theories are also spreading like wildfire alongside the Covid-19 virus.

In an effort to combat fake news, Facebook launched a coronavirus and Covid-19 information hub to provide a central resource for people to get the latest news and information.

Designed to offer reliable official information about the pandemic, the new hub will appear at the top of a user’s News Feed.

Meanwhile, Twitter is removing tweets that are spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19. This was after many complained that its policies on misinformation were too lax.

Instead of those unverified news from the social medias and WhatsApp, get yourself educated through proper channels.

If you prefer visual explanation, here are 20 videos you should watch on YouTube about Covid-19:

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1.The Lockdown: One Month in Wuhan

At 10am on Jan 23, 2020, Wuhan went into lockdown. This was a crucial step to stop a deadly virus from spreading further across the nation.

This documentary by China Global Television Network (CGTN) focuses on the medical personnel, volunteers, deliverymen and community service workers in Wuhan.

It is inspiring to see the frontliners keep their spirits up while working tirelessly against Covid-19.

Additionally, the documentary also follows lives of those under quarantine. For example, when one of the patients under investigation is a Muslim, how did the Chinese authority take care of his meals?

Instead of focusing on the illness, The Lockdown: One Month in Wuhan showcases the human stories of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Watch the video here.

2.Coronavirus in China

Here, DW Documentary brings you life during lockdown in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The video follows journalist Sebastian Le Belzic who works in Beijing who has been living in quarantine at home with his family.

It gives you a glimpse of life in Beijing going to the mall, the supermarket, boarding the subway during lockdown.

Besides this, the documentary also showcases how China’s communist history helped in maintaining order during this period of time.

Just like any other country, the Chinese government continued to spring up new rules almost on a daily basis for the safety and convenience of its people.

For example, every store that sells face masks sells them in daily ration. They are not allowed to sell more than certain amount of face masks in one day.

Watch the video here.

3.Big Story: Epicenter- 24 hours in Wuhan

This is another documentary brought by CGTN. It is a human interest story of how the frontliners works against Covid-19 pandemic.

They visit the houses of patients infected by the virus and disinfect them. Besides this, they offer to buy groceries for the patients’ families, especially the elderly. They also give out pamphlets about the virus to the families.

While many younger generations are able to rely on technology for information, there are those – especially the elders – who do not have access to internet.

Giving out pamphlets with emergency contacts in a smart and crucial ideas to keep them informed; something that is applicable to other countries as well.

Watch the video here.

4.Coronavirus: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency

In interviews filmed on smartphones, Chinese activists and Australian trapped in the lockdown explain what they are going through in China.

The documentary charts how the outbreak occurred and investigates whether a cover-up by Chinese authorities allowed the virus to spread.

It also shows how the medical field in China is coping with the virus.

Watch the video here.

5.Journalist goes undercover at “wet markets”, where the Coronavirus started

60 Minutes Australia in this video interviews Professor Gabriel Leung, who led the fight against the SARS virus.

Prof Leung believes that 60% of the world’s population could become infected with COVID-19.

Moreover, he predicts that up to 45 million people might die from it.

The video also follows Liam Bartlett who travels to Hong Kong and Thailand to find out the likely cause of the disease as well as the latest ongoing efforts to combat it.

Watch the video here.

6.COVID-19: Tracing the First Month of the Novel Coronavirus

Learn about what happened the first month after the Covid-19 outbreak.

The interviews featured in the documentary including a nurse, a Wuhan native and an infectious diseases specialist.

It also explains how having exotic food could lead to exposure new viruses from the wild.

Watch the video here.

7.Coronavirus: Inside Italy’s Covid-19 Lockdown

Reporter Emma Alberici taps into her network of family and friends in Italy to tell stories behind the lockdown for this special report.

The video follows how a young family live their lives in lockdown, how those who still work in essential services and how a young girl does school from home.

It also follows the head surgeon at one of the city’s major hospitals has contracted the Coronovirus from one of his patients. In this video, he shows his life under isolation and how he is being treated for the infection.

Watch the video here.

8.Covid-19/Coronavirus: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Diagnostics

If you are willing to sit through a science class, watch this video by Ninja Nerd Science.

Learn about the origin and zoonosis of the virus, the routes of transmission, epidemiology, pathophysiology and diagnostic tests used to identify Covid-19.

Basically, the Ninja Nerd Science compiles the most up to date and recent data on the virus (as of Mar 15, 2020) and present them in this video.

As new information and research is published, the channel continues to provide the latest updates and all the recent data about the new coronavirus.

Watch the video here.

9.Covid-19: Your questions about coronavirus, answered

If you have questions about Covid-19 especially on how it will affect the economy, this is the video for you.

Some of the questions are will Covid-19 trigger a financial crisis or is that an overreaction, which industries will be affected the most, how will low-income countries be affected.

The panelists in the video also discuss will some leaders try to use the pandemic to cement their grip on power and why do mortality rates differ from country to country.

Of course, some of you might want to know when will the crisis reach its peak and how long will we need to wait for the vaccine.

Watch the video here.

10.How wildlife trade is linked to coronavirus

This video not only explains how the new coronavirus is linked to wildlife trade but also why the disease first appeared in China.

One of the experts in the video stated, “The majority of the people in China do not eat wildlife animals. Those who consume these wildlife animals are the rich and the powerful – a small minority.”

Hence, the video explains how the people of China are themselves victims of the conditions that led to coronavirus.

Watch the video here.

11.Why fighting the coronavirus depends on you

In this video, Vox explains how we could slow the virus down from spreading entirely.

It must be done so that severe cases get spread out over a longer period of time and hospitals are less likely to be overwhelmed.

Vox also explains how social distancing is the best way to slow down the spread for everyone.

Watch the video here.

12.The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do

For those who love animation, then watch this video by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell.

The team behind this video aims to make science look beautiful and the way they explain things is “with optimistic nihilism”.

This animation explains what actually happens when it infects a human and what should we all do in fighting Covid-19.

Watch the video here.

13.The Science Behind the Coronavirus, the complete series

“Thank you Dr. Soon. You explained it in a way that I understood everything. This was very informative”; “The doctor has given a very enlightening and simplified explanation on this virus”; “I loved how he broke this down so it could be easily understood”; these are some of the comments left on this video.

Here, the executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times, Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong offers and overview of the coronavirus.

He proposes that understanding how the virus infects our bodies and strategies toward treatment can help as allay our anxiety about it.

Watch the video here.

14.What this chart actually means for Covid-19

You have heard the phrase and seen the hashtags, “Flatten the Curve” but what does it mean?

It’s Okay To Be Smart explains through animation why flattening the curve is important and what we can do on our parts.

One of the comments on this video said that we need to “share this video with all the selfish people refusing to quarantine themselves.” And we couldn’t agree more.

Watch the video here.

15.What Coronavirus symptoms look like, day by day

After being exposed to the Covid-19 virus, it can take from two to 14 days for symptoms to develop.

Every case range from mild to critical. While the average timeline from the first symptom to recovery is about 17 days, some cases are fatal.

Here is a video showcasing what it looks like to develop Covid-19, day by day.

Watch the video here.

16.Why Pandemics like Covid-19 keep happening

From the black death to the coronavirus, why pandemics keep happening to the world?

Apparently, there are plenty of factors attributing to a pandemic. If you dissect the problem closely, then it involves sort of social, cultural, political issues and many more.

Here, the Bloomberg explains what we need to think about in order to tackle pandemics.

Watch the video here.

17.How soap kills the coronavirus

People have been stocking up on hand sanitizers. The idea behind any alcohol-based hand rub like hand sanitizers is to use them when no soap and water is available.

So when you are at home; with soap and water readily available, there is no use for hand sanitizers.

Here Vox explains how plain old soap and water absolutely annihilates coronavirus.

Watch the video here.

18.The new coronavirus: How Should the World Respond?

As the new coronavirus is shutting down the Earth, what should we do? Here the Economist takes on what lessons can the rest of the world learn from China, Singapore and South Korea.

Watch the video here.

19.The Race to Develop A Coronavirus Vaccine

Even when scientists are racing against time to discover the vaccine for Covid-19, it might take at least one year or one year and half before the race is over.

CNBC explores what is at stake and when the world can expect a coronavirus vaccine.

Watch the video here.

20.Dr Martin Blaser Answers Coronavirus Questions from Twitter

When should we expect to see mutations? Does Covid-19 have a lifespan? Is coronavirus the 0.01% that soaps and sanitizers can’t kill?

Dr Martin Blaser, the professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Rutgers University takes on questions from Twitter.

What makes this video interesting is that they cover all kinds of questions, even questions that might not sound so serious. For example, should we limit how many times we use sanitizer in a day.

Watch the video here.

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As there is so much new information and research found on daily basis, it is important to keep yourself updated with new knowledge every day.

What WHO wants you to know about the new coronavirus, COVID-19

Who better to tell you on what to do during this pandemic caused by COVID-19 other than the World Health Organisation (WHO)?

It is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The organisation’s main objective is to ensure “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”

Basically, the public can rely on them for the most accurate information when it comes to pandemics, diseases and overall health.

While you cannot rely on your minister’s advice – the one who advised that drinking warm water will fight the coronavirus, or your president who wants to end the lockdown while the virus is advancing – you can always rely on WHO.

Since the virus is new, scientists are racing against time to research more about it. According to The Guardian as of 26 March, about 35 companies and academic institutions are working on a vaccine, and the US has already started human trials, so while researchers are still doing their jobs, any other unconfirmed news about the coronavirus should not be shared.

WHO is constantly updating the public with the latest information and discovery on the coronavirus.

Here is KajoMag’s summary of what the World Health Organisation wants you to know about the new coronavirus, COVID-19:

1.Why you should wash your hands regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub?

You have heard it over and over again; wash your hands! Frequently washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand solution kill viruses that may be on your hands. It is as simple as that but still very important.

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Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Credits: Pixabay

2.Why is it important to cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze or cough?

Droplets spread the coronavirus. By following respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from contracting viruses such as cold, flu and coronavirus.

3.Why you should avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth?

You hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses, Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

4.Why social distancing is important?

By maintaining at least one metre’s distance from others, you are helping to avoid breathing in any droplets from someone who sneezes or coughs in close proximity.

If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets including the COVID-19 if the person coughing has the disease.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

5.Are smokers and tobacco users at higher risk of COVID-19 infection?

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.

Besides, smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which greatly increase risk of serious illness.

Debunking some myths on coronavirus

COVID-19 virus CAN be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates.

From the evidence so far, COVID-19 CAN be transmitted in ALL AREAS including areas with hot and humid weather.

So it doesn’t matter if you are out in the sun where the beach is or in an air-conditioned room, the virus can transmitted in ALL AREAS.

According to WHO, the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands.

By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronovirus.

To date, there is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus.

The normal human body temperature remains the same regardless of the external temperature or weather.

Again, taking a hot bath does not prevent the COVID-19 virus because your temperature still remain the same.

An ultraviolet disinfection lamp cannot kill COVID-19 virus.

In fact, these lamps should not be used to sterilise hands and UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

Eating garlic cannot help prevent infection with the COVID-19.

Garlic may be a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence that eating it has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalised for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because co-infection is possible.

Here are some of the things WHO has not confirmed about the coronavirus as research is still underway:

1.Are pregnant women at higher risk from COVID-19?

The data is limited but there is no evidence that pregnant women are at a higher risk for severe illness than the general population.

Nonetheless, due to the changes in their bodies and immune systems, pregnant women can be badly affected by some respiratory infections.

Therefore, it is important for pregnant women to report any possible symptoms to their doctors.

You can read more about Coronavirus, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding here.

2.How long can COVID-19 can survive on a dry surface?

As at the time of writing, there is no data available on COVID-19 stability on surfaces. So far, laboratory studies have shown SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV that stability in the environment depends on several factors.

These factors include relative temperature, humidity and surface type.

However, the preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.

3.Can the COVID-19 virus be transmitted through the air?

Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

However, WHO is assessing ongoing research on other ways COVID-19 is spread and will share updated findings.

WHO also advised to keep yourself updated on the latest COVID-19 hotspots. These are the cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely.

If possible, avoid travelling to such places especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.

At the end of the day, keep yourself updated only from verified news. Do not rely on forwarded text messages or unverified testimonies on social media. Who cares what your parents’ neighbours’ third cousin says about the coronavirus – if it has not been scientifically proven, do not believe in it.

10 things you should know about Malaysia Nipah virus outbreak

From Sept 1998 to May 1999, the Malaysia Nipah virus outbreak took place in the Malaysian states of Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor.

Overall, there were 265 confirmed cases with 105 deaths reported during the outbreak. The disease was as deadly as the Ebola virus, but attacked the brain system instead of the blood vessels.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists it as one of the viruses mostly likely to cause a global pandemic.

It also served as an inspiration for American movie Contagion (2011) and Indian movie Virus (2019).

The chain of contagion involving bats and pigs in the Contagion (2011) is reminiscent of the trail of Nipah virus. The movie similarly involved the disturbance of a bat colony by deforestation as the source of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Virus (2019) is a medical thriller set against thr backdrop of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the Malaysia Nipah virus outbreak:

1.They first thought it was caused by JE

The virus first hit pig farms in Ipoh, Perak where the pigs were found to have respiratory illness and encephalitis.

At first, Malaysian authorities thought Japanese encephalitis (JE) was the cause of the outbreak. Hence the authorities deployed early control measures such as mosquito fogging and vaccination against JE.

However, none of the measures was effective since more cases emerged.

2.How the virus was first discovered

If the disease was coming from mosquitoes, it would have infected people of all races and religions. But then only those from the Chinese community were catching the disease.

The key person who realised that they were dealing with a brand new virus was Dr Chua Kaw Beng.

In an interview with US media outlet NPR, Dr Chua recounted how he had discovered the Nipah virus.

Back then, he was still a virologist in training at Universiti Malaya. When he showed his discovery to one of his professors, they told him to throw it away.

Instead of listening to his professor Dr Chua, he packed it up and brought the sample into the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US. Under the pretext of studying mosquito-borne diseases, Dr Chua sealed the virus in his suitcase and hand-carried it on a flight to the US.

There, Dr Chua used CDC’s powerful microscopes to study the virus.

It turned out it was a type of paramyxovirus that actually came from livestock.

The minute he realised how dangerous the virus could be, Dr Chua made a phone call to Malaysian officials.

This time, the government listened and took the most drastic measure. The government deployed Malaysian army for the country’s largest animal culling.

In the end, almost one million pigs were shoved into pits and shot.

What Dr Chua did to bring the virus to the US might be unethical and even against the law (transporting a sample of a virus in your hand carry without authorisation is illegal) but if he did not do what he did, there might be more casualties from the outbreak.

3.What are the symptoms of Nipah virus infection

The symptoms of Nipah virus infection range from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory and fatal encephalitis.

Initially, the infected people develop symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, vomiting and sore throat.

These symptoms can be followed by dizziness, drowsiness and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis.

In severe cases, the patient can progress to coma within 24 to 48 hours after experiencing encephalitis and seizures.

While the incubation period is believed to range from four to 14 days, there are reports of an incubation period as long as 45 days.

Once infected, the primary treatment for humans is supportive care.

Depending on different factors such as effective epidemiological surveillance and clinical capability, the fatality rate is estimated at 40% to 75%.

4.What is the natural host of the Nipah Virus

Scientists have found that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae- particularly species belonging to the Pteropus genus are the natural hosts for Nipah virus.

However, there is no apparent disease in fruit bats caused by the virus.

5.How the virus is transmitted

The virus was subsequently named after Kampung Sungai Nipah where the sample of the virus was taken.

During the outbreak in Malaysia, most human infections resulted from direct contact with sick pigs or their contaminated tissues.

But how did pig farms became the Nipah virus factories in the first place?

About a decade after the outbreak, scientists found that pigs had been getting Nipah virus for years. They most probably picked it up from fruit bats.

Since the outbreaks were small, nobody really noticed because the pig farms were smaller.

As the farmers changed the way they raised pigs by packing them into tight areas so they could produce more meat, the virus could multiply even faster.

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A depiction of how the Nipah Virus spreads from animals infected by it to communities of people. Credits: Creative Commons.

6.Is there any vaccine?

According to WHO, there are no vaccines available against Nipah virus infection to date. Nonetheless, WHO has identified Nipah as a priority disease for the WHO Research and Development Blueprint.

As for treatment, intensive supportive care is recommended to treat severe respiratory and neurological complications.

The good news is that as of March 2020, it was reported that there is a set of newly potential vaccines against Nipah virus.

Developed by the University of Parma, Italy, the vaccines generated a strong immune response in pigs. This is promising news for protection against the Nipah virus.

7.What are the prevention and control for the Nipah virus infection?

Based on what happened in 1999, routine and thorough cleaning and disinfection of pig farms may be effective in preventing infection.

If an outbreak is suspected, the animal farms are to be quarantined immediately.

Culling of infected animals followed by close supervision of carcasses is also necessary.

8.The aftermath of the Malaysia Nipah virus outbreak

First of all, pig farms in Malaysia became a lot of cleaner after the outbreak. Farmers now keep pigs isolated from other animals and people.

Most surviving pig farmers of the outbreak have turned to palm oil and cempedak plantations.

In Kampung Sungai Nipah, visitors can go back in time to learn about the outbreak at Sungai Nipah Time Tunnel Museum.

There, visitors can listen to survivors’ stories and how their lives changed since the outbreak.

9.Nipah virus outbreak in other countries

Since 1998, there have been at least 15 more outbreaks of Nipah virus, all whicj occurred within Bangladesh and neighbouring parts of India.

The outbreak areas lie within the range of Pteropus species.

One of the outbreaks took place in the state of Kerala, India in 2018. The virus was traced to the fruit bats found in the area. While the outbreak was contained and declared over on June 10 that year, the virus infection managed to claim 17 lives.

Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted a number of Nipah virus virions from a person’s cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Credits: Public Domain.

10.The most important lesson from the Malaysia Nipah virus outbreak

Dr Chua and fellow researchers Dr Looi Lai Meng wrote a paper on the lessons from the Malaysia Nipah virus outbreak in 2007.

According to them, from political to law regulation, there were plenty of lessons to learn from the outbreak.

Yet, there was one particular lesson that we needed to be reminded over and over again and applicable to every other outbreak.

Chua and Looi stated, “Almost 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases over the last century zoonoses, having jumped the species barrier to infect humans. The far-reaching effects of environmental mismanagement (such as deforestation and haze) cannot be overemphasised, as this can lead to encroachment of wildlife into human habitats and the introduction of zoonotic infections into domestic animals and humans.”

Basically, more humans are exposed to viruses that naturally exist in wildlife because we keep on encroaching into their habitats.

American politician Stewart Udall once said, “Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.”

Once we humans fail to protect the environment and wildlife, we fail to protect ourselves.

6 environmental issues of 2019 that you should know about

Looking back at 2019, there were so many environmental issues and news happening around the world that even the most closed off person would have heard about it.

Getting to know more about these issues and doing something about them will be way more meaningful than criticizing TIME Magazine’s person of the year for 2019 Greta Thunberg and her campaign. (ahem, Trump)

As we close the year, let us all take a look back on the major environmental issues for 2019 you should know (and hopefully concerned) about:

1.Our oceans are running out of oxygen
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The oxygen in our ocean is depleting.

While the species on land are breathing freely, the species in the oceans are slowly suffering from low level of oxygen.

In a report by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the loss of oxygen from the world’s ocean is increasingly threatening fish species and disrupting ecosystems.

Driven by climate change and nutrient pollution, ocean oxygen loss is a growing problem for species such as tuna, marlins and sharks.

These species are particularly sensitive to low oxygen because of their large size and energy demands.

They are slowly being driven into increasingly shallow surface layers of oxygen-rich water causing them to become more vulnerable to over-fishing and becoming bycatch.

On top of this, very low ocean oxygen levels can also affect basic processes like the cycling of elements crucial for life on Earth such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

2.Almost half of the world’s Heritage sites could lose their glaciers by 2100
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Glasiers are slowly disappearing from World Heritage sites such as in the Swiss Alps.

We know that our glaciers are disappearing, but according to a study by IUCN they are disappearing from almost half of the world’s heritage sites.

These sites include Grosser Aletschgletscher in the Swiss Alps, Khumbu Glacier in the Himalayas or Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae.

Researchers predicted glacier extinction by 2100 under a high emission scenario in 21 of the 46 natural World Heritage sites where glaciers are currently sites.

Even under a low emission scenario, eight of the 46 World Heritage Sites will completely lose their ice by 2100.

In order to save our glaciers, there is a need to see significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

3.More and more animals are found with plastics inside their stomachs
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2020 is the year that everyone should dispose their plastic waste properly and say ‘No’ to single-use plastic bags.

Whales, birds, deer, turtles and cows; these are among the animals found to have died from plastic ingestion this year.

Plastic pollution remained one of our top environmental issues for 2019. Clearly, we are not doing enough to curb the problem.

It is unsure if animals with plastic-filled stomachs are becoming more common sightings, or if we are more aware of the issue now.

Nonetheless, according to National Geographic, we are producing more plastics than ever.

In 1950, we produced 2.3 million tonnes of it. In 2015, we produced 448 million tonnes. Production is expected to double by 2050.

Unless we do something about our plastic pollution, we will see more and more animals with plastics in their stomachs making headlines in 2020.

4.Only one-third of the world’s longest rivers remain free-flowing
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Just one-third of our rivers are free-flowing, some of them are blocked by a dam like this.

According to a study by scientific journal Nature, only 37% of the world’s 246 longest rivers remain free-flowing.

So what caused our river not to flow? Dams and reservoirs are greatly reducing the benefits that healthy rivers provide.

Now, only 21 of the world’s 91 rivers longer than 1,000 km still have a direct connection from source to sea.

Most of these rivers are in the Arctic, Amazon basin and the Congo basin.

Additionally, the study estimates they are about 60,000 large dams worldwide with more than 3,700 hydropower dams on the way.

Another terrifying fact is that recent analysis of 16,704 populations of wildlife globally showed that populations of freshwater species experienced the most pronounced declined of all vertebrates over the past half-century.

5.Forest fires became one of our top environmental issues for 2019
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Forest fires are happening around the world from the Amazon to Borneo.

From Indonesia to Siberia, our forests are burning. According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research the number of fires in the country had jumped 84% in August this year over the same period in 2018.

Meanwhile according to Global Forest Watch, the tropics have lost some 8.9 million acres of primary rainforest.

Even Siberia is burning with massive blazes producing more than 166 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019. That is almost equal to the annual emission of 36 million cars!

6.One billion people will be threatened by climate change by 2050

With the oceans warming and glaciers are melting, no part of the world will be spared by rising sea-levels.

These impacts of climate change could affect one billion people by 2050.

A new United Nation (UN) report released in September 2019 makes it clear that changes will continue, and they will be irreversible even if the climate stabilizes.

For example, ice-dependent polar species such as walruses and penguins are threatened with extinction as their sea ice habitat disappears.

All photos are from Pixabay.

10 types of beauty masks you never thought you needed

At the mention of beauty masks, one immediately thinks of the facial mask.

Not surprisingly though, the beauty industry has come up with so many innovations within this decade that you can find a mask for every inch of your body!

Well… Not exactly every inch of your body, but gone are the days when beauty masks are only meant for your face.

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The beauty industry has come with so many innovations over the last decade. Credit: Unsplash.

Here are 10 types of beauty masks you never thought you needed:

1. Foot mask

While most people are busy taking care of their faces and hair, some of us often neglect our feet. (Raise your foot if you wished your feet were smooth and soft before adulthood made them dry and cracked.)

The hottest thing in the beauty industry now is the foot peeling mask, which has becomean effective way to get rid of the dead skin on your feet. Be warned, the mask actually helps your feet peel like insects going through the molting process.

Place these masks like a sock on your freshly-cleansed feet and let the chemical do its magic. You will only see the results five to seven days after applying these masks when all the dead skin starts to peel off.

Some widely reviewed foot masks online are TONYMOLY Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid and Baby Foot Lavender.

2. Chin mask

This is reportedly a surgical-free way of lifting your jawline. V-mask, face lift mask, chin up mask are basically masks designed to reduce the appearance of your double chin. You can also use this to say goodbye to turkey neck.

Most of these masks for your chin claimed to to work to redefine your jawline after one 30-minute treatment.

3.Under-eye mask

Puffiness, fine lines and dark circles… these are some of the problems we have under our eyes.

Nowadays, you can easily find comma-shaped masks at Malaysian drug stores work to reduce these problems. They are known to be a quick fix to brighten your eyes while giving a cooling effects on your skin.

4. Lip mask

Forget about lip balms, we are taking our lip care to another level with lip masks.
Famous beauty brands such as Laneige, TONYMOLY and Sephora have all come out with their own lip masks which work to soothe, replenish, moisturise and nourish your dry and cracked pout.

But if you are not willing to spend that kind of money, slathering your lips with butter and leaving it on overnight works too.

5. Elbow mask

South Korea will always a solution for every problem you have on your body no matter how small.

A couple years back, Etude House from South Korea came up with masks to moisturise and brighten your dry and rough elbows.

Well, that is definitely something we need just in case anybody noticed we have rough elbows in the first place.

6. Hand mask

This is another beauty inspiration which comes from South Korea.

Hand masks are meant to nourish your rough hands and brittle fingernails. L’Occitane has a product to gently slough off the dead skin on your hands. Lush also offers a hand mask that works like a specialised bath for your hands.

Gone are the days that you apply only lotion on your hands.

7. Body mask

Now what about the rest of our bodies? No worries, the 21st century beauty industry has you covered in that area too.

Body mask products are aimed to give users that spa-like experience at home, leaving your body smooth and refreshing.

8.Boob mask

The public won’t be able to see your breasts from top to bottom, but it doesn’t meant that you should neglect them.

Boob sheet masks are apparently a thing, and were created to hydrate the chest areas. They also have anti-aging and skin-brightening properties, ensuring your chest will look great in those décolleté tops and dresses.

9.Belly mask

Show some love to your belly! Pregnant mamas now can lighten the appearance of stretch marks while carrying their babies with beauty masks designed for their pregnant bellies.

They are also meant to soften scars after Caesarean section.

10. Butt mask

Finally, we are now talking about the tush! If you think your buttocks lack suppleness, firmness and bounciness, fret not! There are masks designed to restore those qualities to your butt.

Canada-based beauty brand Nannete de Gaspé is one of the leading players in the industry when it comes to beauty masks.

They introduced to the world the concept of dry masks in 2016. So it is no surprise, this brand offers masks for different parts for the body and that includes the bust and butt.

6 Reasons Why You Should Visit Mount Singai

If you have not visited Mount Singai before, now is the best time to do so. Due to our love of being outdoors, KajoMag has listed six reasons why it should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit.

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1. Close to town

Located in Bau District, Mount Singai takes only 30 to 40 minutes’ drive from Kuching City.

As it does not take a lot of time to reach there, you do not have to worry about getting up early or using a lot of gas.

2. Good spot for beginner’s training

If you are not particularly athletic but still want to be active, then Mount Singai is perfect for you.

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Mount Singai hiking area can be split into two sections. The first half is a set of stairs leading to the Catholic Memorial and Pilgrimage Centre (CMPC) while the second half is the hiking trail leading to the summit.

Typically, an average hiker can reach the pilgrimage centre within 20 to 30 minutes while the hiking ground can take about an hour to reach.

Visitors might find Mount Singai relaxing and enjoyable as the hiking terrain is not as hard and challenging as most hiking spots around Kuching.

Also, due to the steps and the inclining nature of Mount Singai, it is the best spot to pump up your cardio and enjoy nature.

3. Friendly hikers

On average, Mount Singai can have a few hundred visitors in one weekend.

And due to that, you will always bump into other fellow hikers along the way.

At Mount Singai, the hikers will typically greet you and some will even give words of encouragement  to reach the summit.

When meeting these friendly and supportive hikers of Mount Singai, it makes the hiking trip even more memorable.

4. Spiritual experience

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On your trek up to the retreat centre, you will notice there are monuments stationed along the way up.

They are the 14 stations of the Cross which represent Christ’s last day on earth as a man.

Mount Singai has long been a pilgrimage destination for devoted Catholics, with the earliest converts to Catholicism in the area among the Bisingai people dating as far back as 1885.

5. Help the community build their church

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Upon reaching the entrance point of Mount Singai, you may find a heap of bags containing pebbles and sand.

These are to build a new church hall at the pilgrimage centre.

As there are no access roads for vehicles leading towards the centre, the only way to bring these building materials up is on foot.

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While there are no entrance fees for Mount Singai, visitors can do their part for the kampong community by helping them carry the bags up to the construction site.

Consider it your personal Rocky or Shaolin monk challenge by carrying a bag up. You can also help trick your mind into thinking you have some extra weight to lose.

6. Instagrammable view

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Millennials with an active Instagram account would understand the novelty of having awesome pictures in their IG account.

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When you reach the top of the steps, Mount Singai offers a rest stop with one of the best viewing spots.

Apart from that, the summit also offers an equally breath-taking view for visitors to take picture.

What you need to know about Glycemic Index (GI)

When it comes to food, there are so many numbers that we have to take note of.

These include calorie count, fat content, sugar levels but there is one number that the casual dieter might not have heard of.

It is the glycemic index or GI. According to the Glycemic Index website (yes, there is a website dedicated to it updated and maintained by the University of Sydney’s GI group), GI is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according the extent to which they raise blood (glucose) levels after eating.

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Rice is one of the foods with high GI number. Credit: Pixabay.

What is Glycemic Index (GI)

It is the incremental area under the blood glucose response curve of 50g of carbohydrate portion of a test food expressed as a percentage of the response to the same amount of carbohydrate from a standard or reference food taken by the same subject.

There are three groups of GI:  low (where food GI is below 55) moderate (56 to 69) and high (70 and above).

According to Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Malaysia (RNI) report, research on glycemic response of foods is still low. The argument is that the practical use of GI to assess one single food item is questionable.

This is because there are many other factors including carbohydrate content or even cooking method influencing the glycemic response of foods.

However, there are reports that reducing food intake with high GI can improve overall blood glucose control.

Should you take Glycemic Index into account?

Does it mean that having low GI foods are good for you? Not necessarily.

Some low GI foods may not be good because they have high fat content.

Conversely, some high GI foods maybe be good because it has high nutrient content. Thus, it is unnecessary to completely avoid all high GI foods.

In other countries, nevertheless, GI is advised to be used as part of the nutritional management for people with diabetes.

American Diabetes Association, Canadian Diabetes Association and Diabetes United Kingdom recommends people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to take note of the glycemic index of food.

Moreover, one study found that a moderately high protein, low GI diet works best for longer-term weight management.

Generally, what experts agree now is that the use of GI is only a base for choosing carbohydrate-containing food.

As for Malaysians, our high GI foods are fried meehoon (99), fragrance rice (97), kuay teow (90), wholemeal bread (85), pineapple (82) and sardine sandwich (73).

8 easy Japanese recipes to try at home

Forget about sushi and sashimi, there are easy Japanese recipes out there for you to try at home.

Fellow Asian countries like Malaysia already have the basic Japanese ingredients like rice and soy sauce.

Other traditional ingredients that you might require to make your own Japanese cuisine at home are miso, dashi, sake and mirin.

In Sarawak, most of Japanese ingredients are easily available at local supermarkets such as Everrise and Ta Kiong.

Here are 8 easy Japanese recipes for you to try at home especially on weeknights:

1. Omurice

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Omurice. Credits: Pixabay.

For Malaysians, omurice is the closest thing you have to nasi goreng Pattaya.

It consists of fried rice covered with an omelette.

The rice is usually fried with chicken and various vegetables. Then a thin sheet of fried rice covers the top of the rice.


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Tonkatsu anyone? Credits: Pixabay.

Tonkatsu is one of those easy Japanese recipes you might think is NOT so Japanese.

Tonkatsu (a combination of ton for ‘pork’ and katsu for’cutlet’)  is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet often served with shredded cabbage.

It’s easy to make. Salt and pepper your pork fillet, then cover it with flour. Dip the meat into a beaten egg before coating it with panko. Panko is a kind of Japanese bread crumb easily available at the supermarket or a Japanese store.

Can’t find panko? Make your own bread crumbs by ripping up some bread, spread it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 300 F degrees for 6-8 minutes or until it’s a golden brown. Then crush it into powdery form.

You can either deep-fry the tonkatsu or bake it in the oven for a healthier option.


Once you know how to make your own deep-fried pork cutlet, now you can make katsudon.

This dish is a bowl of rice topped with pork cutlet, egg and some vegetables.

4. Gyudon

What you mainly need to make gyudon is beef, onion, dashi, soy sauce, mirin and salt.

Simmer the thinly sliced beef and onion with all the seasoning above. Once it is cooked, pour the beef on top of hot steaming rice.

If you like, add on a raw egg or soft poached egg.

For a complete Japanese experience, serve your gyudon with Japanese pickled ginger (beni shoga) and ground chili pepper (shichimi).


Oyakodon is almost similar to katsudon and gyudon.

But for oyakodon, the ingredients such as chicken, egg, scallion, onion are simmered together in soy sauce and stock.

After it is cooked, it is poured on top of a bowl of rice.

6.Onigiri Rice Balls

Forget about Korean kimbap, onigiri is much easier to make for that perfect lunch takeaway.

It is made from normal plain rice formed in triangular shapes and wrapped in seaweed.

Traditionally, the filling is usually made from pickled ume, salted salmon and other fancy Japanese ingredients.

But you can always make your own simpler version of onigiri with ingredients which are already available in your kitchen.

For example, tuna with mayonnaise, or even small portions of fried food such as fried chicken or pork.

7.Miso Soup with tofu

This is one of those easy Japanese recipes which only requires you to boil.

Apart from being easy to make, it is also a healthier cooking method.

Firstly, boil water your nori (seaweed) for few minutes. Then, put in some tofu and if you like some green onions. Finally, add in your miso paste.

8.Niratama Donburi

The word niratama comes from nira which means garlic chives and tama which is an abbreviation of tamago (egg).

So this dish is basically made of eggs and garlic chives stir fried together to make an omelette.

After that, put it on top of a bowl of rice and get ready to dig in.

How to have your me time and why is it important?

Everybody needs ‘me’ time. Psychologists say having ‘me’ time helps reboot our brains, unwind, improve our concentration, and make us more productive.
Moreover, ‘me’ time gives us the space for self-discovery while allowing us to think deeply.

Here at KajoMag, we want you to have a meaningful and fruitful me time and these are how you can do it:

1. Unplug everything

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Unplug everything. Credit: Pexels.

Turn off your phone. Switch off your laptop. Break away from all the devices that connect you to the outside world.
Undeniably, our phones have become our lifelines to the world with the average person reportedly spending 90 minutes a day on them. That amount of time could have been spent recollecting ourselves and just enjoying the time being alone.

2. Craft something

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Turn to arts and crafts during your me time. Credits: Pexels.

Channel your inner creativity by crafting during your me time.
Paint a scenery, learn some pottery, bead a necklace.
You don’t have to be as good as Van Gogh, arts and crafts is supposed to help you unwind.
So just shut the world out and craft away.

3. Colour your stress away

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Colour your stress away. Credit: Pexels.

If you really have no idea what to craft, how about grabbing an adult colouring book and indulging in a favorite childhood pastime? A report states that psychologists and therapists prescribe adult coloring to their patients.
It has proven coloring are actually great for your mental and emotional health.

4. Try to journal

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Jot down your emotions in a journal. Credits: Pexels.

Sometimes when you are alone, that is when all the thoughts (good and/or bad) flood through your mind.
Writing in a journal is one the best ways to confront your problems and clear your mind.
Nowadays, there are so many types of journals to write in, and even bullet journal Facebook groups you can join.
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box option for a journal, try Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith which encourages you basically to ‘destroy’ your journal in a variety of ways.

5. Take a walk. Alone.

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Go for stroll along the beach.

You probably have heard of this advice: just walk it off. And to take a walk in a less crowded place actually helps you to feel better.
Just drive to the nearest beach and stroll the length of it alone, feel the wind blowing against your skin and the sand between your toes.
Shut all the noise around you out except the sounds of waves crashing. This is a very simple thing to do at minimal cost to spend your time alone to unwind.
Plus, you can burn extra calories along the way.

6. Go for a drive

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Go for a drive. Credits: Pexels.

If walking is not your forte, how about going for a drive?
Blast the music in your car, sing your heart out and let the wheel to take you wherever you feel like going.
As long as the fuel tank is full, drive to the nearest town or explore unfamiliar neighbourhood in your city.
If a kid like Dora the Explorer can do it, you can do it too.

7. Watch a movie. Alone.

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Watch a movie all by yourself. Credits: Pexels.

Watching a movie alone in the cinema is not pathetic. Everybody’s done it at least once in their lives. If you haven’t, go give it a try.
Pick a movie at an odd hour when you know there will be less people and enjoy the movie.
This is great for movie buffs out there because having a fruitful me time is all about doing something you enjoy… just all by yourself.

8. Read a book

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Escape from your reality and find sanctuary in the pages of your book. Credits: Pexels.

Bookworms and bibliophiles often find peace and solitude in between the pages of a book.
When your daily commitments have distracted you from the love of books, it is time to go back to reading.
Choose a small cafe which offers great coffee/tea/cake but with less of a crowd and sit in a far corner.
Then take out your book and escape from your reality for awhile.

9. Take a staycation

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Take a long warm bath in your hotel room and don’t you care about everything else. Credits: Pexels.

If money is not a problem, take a staycation in town.
Unlike a vacation, you don’t have to worry about catching flights or following an itinerary.
Check yourself into a cozy hotel and relax.
Take a swim in the hotel pool or binge eat in bed in front of the TV.
Fill the tub and take a long warm bath.

10. Let Mother Nature take you in

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Just go back to nature. Credits: Pexels.

Give yourself over to Mother Nature and let her help you relieve your stress.
Climb a mountain, take a hike or swim in the waterfall at any of these nearest national parks.
Scientists found that hiking yields measurable mental benefits and may reduce risk of depression.
But if you are hiking alone, let somebody know where you are going, be prepared before your hike and always stay on the trail.