Lockdown’s effect on our emotions


Is your mood all over the place throughout lockdown? Many of us in the UK are riding this emotional rollercoaster as the pandemic continues

The events of the last year have had a significant impact on our moods. As we navigate the difficulties of this pandemic – social distancing, homeschooling, redundancy, and more – many of us are regularly experiencing a wider range of emotions.

So, if you’ve had days where you’ve been crying one moment and laughing the next, you’re not alone, as new research has revealed that the average Brit currently experiences many different moods each day as they go through lockdown.

The study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by health and wellness company doTERRA, revealed half feel their moods follow the same pattern each day. It’s thought that each mood lasts for an average of three hours before the tone changes, with 47% admitting their feelings change more than they would like.

Kirk Jowers, Executive Vice President of doTERRA, said, “It’s only natural for people to feel a range of emotions throughout the day – especially with the lockdown causing such uncertainty at the moment. Our patterns, routines and activities can dictate how we feel and, naturally, the pandemic has altered many of our daily habits.

“In addition, work can bring its fair share of stress, while family and friends tend to impact us in a more positive way. We know that it’s vitally important to take time out for yourself and think about your wellbeing, and the research shows people are very open to looking at ways to improve their moods.”

One method that many of us are turning to in a bid to improve how we’re feeling is to search for information online. In fact, the number of people searching online for topics related to boredom, loneliness, and worry rose sharply at the beginning of the first lockdown, another new study shows.

Experts from Warwick Business School, the University of Ottawa, and Paris School of Economics examined Google Trends data from 10 countries across Europe and the United States. They found search patterns which suggested lockdown had “severely affected” mental health.

When compared to the same period in 2019, the number of searches in Europe at the time of the lockdown in 2020 for boredom rose by 93%, loneliness 40%, and worry 27%. Researchers found results were similar whether countries, states, or cities went into full or partial lockdown, suggesting that any form of restrictions had a substantial impact on wellbeing.

Nattavudh Powdthavee, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, said, “Our findings indicate that people’s mental health may have been severely affected by the pandemic and lockdown.

“There was a substantial increase in searches for boredom, loneliness, and worry. It may be necessary to make sure support is provided to help those struggling most with lockdown.”

Professor Abel Brodeur from the University of Ottawa said: “We did see the number of searches for sadness revert towards the norm, perhaps reflecting hopes that lockdown would be relatively short-lived.

“However, the effects on boredom and worry have not dissipated over time, and this snapshot of wellbeing in the first weeks of lockdown does not account potential fatigue as individuals grow increasingly tired of self-regulating as time passes.

“It’s a reminder that, while the economic cost of the pandemic and lockdown is considerable, there are other potential costs in terms of trust, disruption to schooling, and wellbeing. That is particularly relevant as many countries are going through a second wave of the pandemic and are facing fresh restrictions.”

How can I improve my mood?

If you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster right now, that’s completely understandable. On particularly rough days, try to look for a little piece of joy that can help to lift your mood and make you feel better. In times of darkness, we must try to look for the light.

That might be something as simple as taking a walk and getting out into nature, listening to music, or having a nice cup of tea or coffee.


Jowers says, “There is certainly an appetite among Brits to find ways to improve moods and how they feel. Now, more than ever, many are looking to take time for themselves and their families to relax. Of course, research shows that taking a bath or going for a walk is beneficial, yet there are some other wonderful and natural ways to relax.

“In such unprecedented times, and particularly in January, people need a bit of a mood boost, so using essential oils as part of daily routines, aromatherapy, massage, yoga and other health and wellness activities is something the entire family can do to improve emotional wellbeing and find balance.”

Yes, it doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking. Just give yourself one small thing to look forward to during the day, and practise this self-kindness each and every day.

And remember, it’s OK if you need a little help navigating this pandemic.

If you think you’d benefit from talking with a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out. Exploring your thoughts and feelings can be a big help. Learn more and find a therapist on Counselling Directory.





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Covering faces around kids won’t mask emotions — ScienceDaily


The proliferation of face coverings to keep COVID-19 in check isn’t keeping kids from understanding facial expressions, according to a new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison psychologists.

It’s easiest to understand the emotions of the people around you by taking in all the hints they’re dropping, on purpose or otherwise. Yet when people cover some of their facial expressions, they take some of those cues away.

“We now have this situation where adults and kids have to interact all the time with people whose faces are partly covered, and a lot of adults are wondering if that’s going to be a problem for children’s emotional development,” says Ashley Ruba, a postdoctoral researcher in UW-Madison’s Child Emotion Lab.

The researchers showed more than 80 children, ages 7 to 13, photos of faces displaying sadness, anger or fear that were unobstructed, covered by a surgical mask, or wearing sunglasses. The kids were asked to assign an emotion to each face from a list of six labels. The faces were revealed slowly, with scrambled pixels of the original image falling into their proper place over 14 stages to better simulate the way real-world interactions may require piecing things together from odd angles or fleeting glimpses.

The kids were correct about the uncovered faces as often as 66 percent of the time, well above the odds (about 17 percent) of guessing one correct emotion from the six options. With a mask in the way, they correctly identified sadness about 28 percent of the time, anger 27 percent of the time, and fear 18 percent of the time.

“Not surprisingly, it was tougher with parts of the faces covered. But even with a mask covering the nose and mouth, the kids were able to identify these emotions at a rate better than chance,” says Ruba, who published results today in the journal PLOS ONE with co-author Seth Pollak, a UW-Madison psychology professor.

Variations in the results reflect differences in the way emotional information is conveyed by the face. Sunglasses made anger and fear difficult to identify, suggesting the eyes and eyebrows are important to those facial expressions. Fear, often confused with surprise, was also the trickiest for children to spot behind a mask — which may have complicated matters by covering clues like surprise’s signature mouth shape. :O

If children can do better than guessing at emotions even with a mask in place, they’re likely to do even better in real-life situations.

“Emotions aren’t conveyed solely through your face,” Ruba says. “Vocal inflections, the way that someone positions their body, and what’s going on around them, all that other information helps us make better predictions about what someone is feeling.”

It all adds up to kids growing in their emotional capabilities, even if some of their interactions with others are happening through face coverings.

“I hope this settles some nerves,” Ruba says. “Kids are really resilient. They’re able to adjust to the information they’re given, and it doesn’t look like wearing masks will slow down their development in this case.”

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01-MH61285, U54-HD090256, T32-MH018931).

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Materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Original written by Chris Barncard. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Joe Biden interview: Raw emotions in president-elect’s first post-election grilling


Joe Biden just sat down for his first TV interview since the election, and at one point the president-elect seemed to be on the verge of tears.

US president-elect Joe Biden has given his first TV interview since winning the election, facing questions on the state of the presidential transition and what he intends to do with his first hundred days in office.

Mr Biden sat down for a chat with Lester Holt, the host of NBC Nightly News, a short time after introducing several of his nominees for Cabinet posts to the public this afternoon.

Several of his choices are alumni of the Obama administration. Earlier today, Politico reported that had caused some resentment among some of Mr Biden’s longtime loyalists, who fear they are being overlooked.

“People are pissed,” is how one senior official put it.

Holt alluded to that tension early in the interview.

“This line-up, those you’ve selected so far – a lot of familiar faces among them. What do you say to those who are wondering if you’re trying to create a third Obama term?” he asked.

“This is not a third Obama term. Because we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration,” Mr Biden said.

President Trump has changed the landscape. It has become America First, which means America alone. We find ourselves in a position where our alliances are being frayed. It’s totally different.

“That’s why I’ve found people that represent the spectrum of the American people as well as the spectrum of the Democratic Party.”

Mr Biden stressed there were “a lot more appointments” still to be announced. Holt asked whether he had considered nominating any Republicans – perhaps even one who voted for Donald Trump – as a unifying gesture.

“Yes,” the president-elect said.

“I want this country to be united. We can’t keep this virulent political dialogue going.”

“Should we expect an announcement?” asked Holt.

“No,” said Mr Biden.

“Not ever, or not soon?” said Holt.

“Not soon,” he clarified.

RELATED: ‘People are pissed’: Drama in Biden camp

Another talking point here is the relative lack of Democratic Party politicians among Mr Biden’s nominees.

That may change as he announces more of them. For now though, Senator John Kerry is the only politician who has been named to serve in Mr Biden’s Cabinet, and he will fill the niche role of climate envoy.

This is somewhat unexpected. A prestige role like secretary of state, for example, is often given to a prominent politician.

The man currently in the job, Mike Pompeo, is a former Republican congressman. Barack Obama gave the gig first to then-senator Hillary Clinton, and then to Mr Kerry.

Mr Biden has gone for Antony Blinken, a man you have likely never heard of who served as deputy secretary of state under Mr Obama.

Before the election, there was talk that Mr Biden might give Cabinet posts to some of his vanquished rivals for the Democratic nomination.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was floated as a potential treasury secretary. Senator Bernie Sanders has openly expressed interest in the position of labour secretary. Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg has been mentioned as a potential secretary for veterans’ affairs.

Again, Holt addressed the issue head-on.

“What about former rivals from your own party? Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren – have you talked to them about Cabinet positions?” he asked.

The answer was quite obviously no, though Mr Biden didn’t put it quite so bluntly.

“Look, as I said, we already have significant representation among progressives in our administration, but there’s nothing really off the table,” he said.

“But one thing’s really critical. Taking someone out of the Senate, taking someone out of the House – particularly a person of consequence – is a really difficult decision.

“I have a very ambitious, very progressive agenda, and it’s going to take really strong leaders in the House and the Senate to get it done.”

If he were to choose a serving senator, such as Mr Sanders or Ms Warren, their seat in the Senate would be vacated and then contested in a special election, potentially sapping the Democrats’ numbers for an extended period.

Hence, don’t expect a Cabinet post for either of them.

RELATED: Reporters react to Trump’s ‘weird’ appearance

Mr Biden’s interview came a day after the General Services Administration (GSA) allowed the transition process to formally begin, releasing funds and enabling members of the president-elect’s team to make contact with their counterparts in the Trump administration.

It took a few weeks longer than usual to reach that point, with Mr Trump refusing to concede defeat and the relevant official at the GSA backing him up.

Nevertheless, Mr Biden told Holt he was satisfied his incoming administration would be able to get up to speed before Inauguration Day on January 20.

“Immediately, we’ve gotten outreach across the board. They’re already working out my ability to get presidential daily briefs (and) meet with the COVID team in the White House,” he said.

“I think we’re going to be not quite so far behind the curve as I thought we might be in the past. I must say, the outreach has been sincere. It has not been begrudging so far, and I don’t expect it to be.”

For context here, Mr Biden has been receiving intelligence briefings since he became the Democratic nominee earlier this year. The presidential daily brief – the same thing Mr Trump gets every day – is a more comprehensive document to which he could not be given access without the GSA’s approval.

The other thing Mr Biden hasn’t had yet is a conversation with the President. The pair have not spoken since the election.

“I believe that his chief of staff and my chief of staff have spoken, but no, I have not heard anything from President Trump,” he said.

“It’s a slow start. But it’s starting, and there’s two months left to go. So I’m feeling good about the ability to get up to speed.”

Holt asked what, exactly, Mr Biden planned to do with his first hundred days in power.

“Some of it is going to depend on the kind of co-operation I can or cannot get from the Congress,” he said.

The Republicans are likely to hold a majority in the Senate, unless the Democrats manage to win both upcoming run-off elections in Georgia – an unlikely feat. That means Mr Biden will need to secure at least a couple of Republican votes to pass legislation.

“I will send an immigration bill to the Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America,” said Mr Biden.

“I will also be moving to do away with some of the very damaging executive orders that have significantly impacted on making the climate worse and making us less healthy.

“There’s also things that I want to do that relate to the ability to make sure we get immediate assistance to state and local governments to keep them from basically going under.

“There’s multiple things that are going to have to be taking place at the same time.

“But the most important thing, I think, is to focus on those folks who are always – when the crisis hits, they are the first ones hit, and when the recovery comes they’re the last ones in. That’s minority communities, who’ve been hurt very badly.

“Making sure we get the aid that was voted on in the House and passed by the Senate and some cases, and much of which has not passed, get the kind of help to keep people afloat.”

For months, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the Trump White House, have been unable to reach an agreement on a second coronavirus relief package, which would help Americans who are struggling economically amid the pandemic.

The two sides have been unable to agree on the scope or content of such a package, meaning nothing has been passed. Meanwhile, the initial relief measures passed in the early months of the crisis have expired.

Mr Biden appeared to tear up at this point, and he had to take a moment to gather himself before launching into an anecdote about his own father’s economic struggles.

“I remember … I remember my dad being restless. And I remember, one night, feeling – I could hear my dad, you could just feel the bed moving. So the next morning I said, ‘Mum, what’s wrong with dad?’” he recounted.

“She said, ‘He’s worried. He just lost – he moved jobs, he lost his health insurance. He doesn’t know what to do.’

“Think of all the people, all the people, who are laying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, thinking, ‘God forbid. What happens?’ We have to act. We have to act to guarantee they have access to affordable health insurance.

“This is more than just a financial crisis. It’s a crisis that is causing real mental stress for millions of people. Millions of people. And it’s within our power to solve it.”

RELATED: Do Trump’s lawyers actually have a point?

The incoming administration’s other initial focus will, of course, be rolling out vaccines to the general public as efficiently as possible.

“Allegedly the administration has set up a rollout, how they think it should occur, what will be available when and how. And we’ll look at that, we may alter that. But that’s in train now. We haven’t got that briefing yet,” said Mr Biden.

He referred to his conversations with state governors from both political parties.

“We’ve talked extensively about the need to co-operate and get the vaccine into places where you can actually get vaccinated,” he said.

“I think we should be focusing obviously on the doctors, the nurses, the first responders. I think we should also be focused on trying to open schools as fast as we can. I think it can be done safely.

“The hope is this administration can begin to distribute it before we’re sworn in. So it’s all in train now. But I’m feeling good now that we’ll be able to get all the hard data we need.”

Holt asked what Mr Biden could do, as president, to change people’s attitudes towards the pandemic – to stop them from ignoring medical advice, for example – that he couldn’t do as a candidate.

“I hope as president – and many of the Republican governors and mayors felt the same way – I hope we’re going to be able to have a united voice on the need to mask, socially distance, testing and tracing. They’re critical, critical pieces to dealing with bringing down this virus into a more manageable place,” he said.

“The words of a president matter.”

Finally, Holt asked how Mr Biden would deal with the calls from some Democrats for Mr Trump to be prosecuted after leaving office.

There are currently multiple active investigations of Mr Trump and his businesses at the state level. Once he is no longer in office, prosecutors could conceivably try to indict him.

“I will not do what this President has done and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen,” Mr Biden said.

“There are a number of investigations that I’ve read about at a state level. There’s nothing at all I can or can’t do about that.

“I’m focused on getting the public back to a place where they have some certainty, some knowledge they can make it. The middle class are being crushed. That’s my focus.”



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Chris Fagan’s mixed emotions over David Noble’s departure from Brisbane


Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has mixed emotions over David Noble’s departure from the Lions.

Noble, who was instrumental in transforming Brisbane from cellar dwellers to premiership contenders, will be tasked with a similar rebuild at North Melbourne after being appointed as senior coach.

Fagan is “a little bit disappointed” that Noble decided to leave the Lions but is also thankful for his “tremendous contribution” during his four years at the club.

“Really good footy managers don’t grow on trees and he’s an experienced guy. We’ll definitely miss him,” he told SEN Breakfast.

“I’m really happy for him and a little bit disappointed that we lost him.

“But this is one of those challenges you look forward to with your culture. If you’ve built a strong culture, you find that you can replace most people most of the time.

“Hopefully that’s the case here, but he’s made a tremendous contribution over the last four years, he’s been a great support for me.”

Brisbane will look both internally and externally to find Noble’s replacement during the off-season.

“We’ll run a process for that position,” Fagan said.

“From what I can gather from Swanny (Greg Swann) yesterday there’s people interested from inside and outside the club.

“We’ll sit down and try to pick the right person.”

Noble, 53, has been given the ambitious task of making the Kangaroos a top four contender and premiership threat within the next three years.

North won just three games in 2020, narrowly avoiding the wooden spoon.







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Still no Cameron Smith decision as Ryan Papenhuyzen’s emotions run high after Melbourne Storm premiership


“I wouldn’t worry, mate,” Smith said.

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And with that, the debate about the 430-game superstar, who now must surely be considered the greatest of all time, will rage on.

As the rugby league world awaits official news on Smith’s playing future, the 37-year-old turned his attention to the Storm group which won yet another premiership on Sunday night.

Smith struggles to recall a tighter knit team.

“I don’t think so,” Smith said when asked if he had played in a tighter knit squad.

“It’s hard to compare, different teams from different years. And we’ve had some really close knit teams over my career at the club but given the situation we’ve been in this year – pretty much living in each other’s pockets for five months – it’s something very different and something we’ve never experienced.

Cameron Smith on the Melbourne Storm victory lap.Credit:Getty Images

“But we grew as a unit this year and there are connections in this team that we will have the rest of our lives. No matter where we are in this country or where we are in the world in the future, we will always have a connection to 2020 and the team that performed tonight.”

Clive Churchill Medallist Ryan Papenhuyzen was emotional just minutes before being awarded one of the game’s highest individual honours.

“I’m so emotional. Oh, wow,” Papenhuyzen said. “The whole day was just the unknown. You don’t know what’s going to happen.

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“You’re so confident in the boys but [Penrith] coming off 17 in a row, it’s the most butterflies I’ve ever had.

“These boys – we’ve done it so tough this year because back home, they’re doing it a lot tougher than we are. That’s unbelievable. I’m so proud of the boys and I never thought I could do one of these. We’ve done it.”

Papenhuyzen bought surplus tickets to the match for one reason.

“I made sure I bought heaps of tickets in a good section because you don’t know how many grand finals you’re going to play,” he said.

“I’m so happy [my family] are here. I wish I could go give them a hug. We’re going to celebrate alright.”

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5 companies that want to track your emotions


Faced with ongoing social isolation, a turbulent economic climate, and continued uncertainty about when life will return to a simulacrum of normalcy—and what that normal will even look like—many adults are exhibiting mounting signs of clinical anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

As the world’s public health and economic crises give rise to a mental health one, researchers are exploring a bevy of innovative solutions to help people monitor and regulate their emotions. Case in point: Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, recently created a new app that users can download to keep tabs on their mental well-being. The app analyzes data like users’ voice recordings, keystrokes, and sleep patterns.

This is part and parcel of a larger trend: Thanks to new advances in technology, human emotions are becoming increasingly measurable and quantifiable. From emotion-sensing robots to cars with sensors to digital wristbands, the field of emotion detection technologies is blossoming, with forecasters projecting that the market size will surge from $21.6 billion in 2019 to $56 billion by 2024.

Emotions are a powerful force in how we relate to the world and how we make life’s everyday decisions—as well as the most consequential ones—which is why innovation in this space is so welcome, both in times of crisis and beyond. 

Some of the biggest advances in the field build on more elementary forms of detecting emotions, from measuring the (largely uncontrollable and unconscious) changes in our speech patterns to monitoring biomarkers like heart rate variability to gauge our stress levels. 

Of course, measuring emotions is highly complex, and given how subjective and multifaceted they are, quantitative measurements will never entirely displace the qualitative element of evaluating and describing what we’re thinking and feeling. But if used correctly, emotion-sensing technologies can help transform our well-being by empowering individuals to better understand, monitor, and regulate their feelings—and a diverse array of innovative startups are hard at work making this vision a reality. 

These five companies offer an inspiring look at what’s possible.

Healium

Healium, founded in 2013, utilizes augmented and virtual reality and wearable technology to enable users to “see their feelings.” Biofeedback collected by an Apple Watch or an EEG headband (a device that monitors the brain’s electrical activity) is transmitted to an app where users see their feelings in the form of butterflies flying in front of backgrounds of users’ choosing, like a tranquil field or a soothing beach. 

The empirically backed idea behind the project? Visualizing our feelings using virtual reality can help us keep calm and better manage anxiety and stress. Peer-reviewed studies have found that Healium reduced anxiety and increased positive affect in users. Among the app’s users is the U.S. Navy

Reflect Innovation

Founded in 2018, Reflect Innovation, a Joy Ventures portfolio company, has developed a portable interactive textile product that utilizes biofeedback to help people become aware of their emotional state and experience moments of calm. The product’s light changes color in response to signals from the user’s body, helping them gain control of their emotions. Reflect founder Noga Sapir combined her passions for neuroscience and textile design to create this tool—a contrast to the many tech solutions on the market that feature hard surfaces and screens.

Inner Balance

HeartMath’s Inner Balance sensor for iPhone and Android measures heart rhythm patterns to gauge users’ emotional states with an app that also includes guided meditations, real-time coaching tips, and journaling. The app is designed to help users regulate their heart rhythms and mental well-being to achieve a state of “coherence,” characterized by reduced stress, increased resilience, and better overall emotional health.

The company points to more than 300 peer-reviewed or independent studies that support its technologies and techniques, and has worked to broaden access to its solution during the pandemic. In April and May, HeartMath waived registration costs for its program, and the company recently added six new languages due to high demand.

Sonde Health

Digital health company Sonde Health measures the human voice as a vital sign and predictor of conditions including depression, hypertension, sleepiness, and respiratory illness. Smartphones, laptops, smart watches, tablets, and smart speakers track vocal patterns and detect changes in health, enabling preventive, proactive self-care.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company introduced a new tool, Sonde One, which uses a six-second sample of users’ voices to detect respiratory problems. To bring the solution to market, Sonde partnered with the wellness company Wellworks for You, making the tool available for its 1.4 million members.

Feel

Launched in 2015, Feel combines cognitive behavioral therapy with a digital wristband that quantifies users’ emotional states based on biomarkers. The Feel app connects users to real-time insights and proven interventions, including mood journaling and breathing exercises. Fifteen-minute weekly sessions with licensed therapists provide people the chance to discuss their emotional states with a designated professional.

According to data from Sentio Solutions, which developed Feel, usage has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, with users spending 50% more time per week on the app and 97% participation in weekly therapy sessions.

The future of emotion tracking

These companies offer only a taste of the possibilities emotion-sensing technologies hold. Robust analysis of the emotional aspect of dreams (as opposed to their content) is another underdeveloped and exciting field. And technologies that analyze facial expressions or that detect sexual attraction may well hit the market in the coming years.

Innovative companies and cutting-edge startups have a vital role to play in developing this field, as do science and research. Already slated for dramatic growth prior to COVID-19, the emotion detection market is more vital than ever. As we learn more about how we process and experience emotions—and as entrepreneurs tap new opportunities based on the latest science and research—inspiring new products will help us all live more joyfully.

Miri Polachek is CEO of Joy Ventures.

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Emotions high for Swans skipper Kennedy as Bontempelli-inspired Bulldogs complete Sydney sweep


His first half was one for the books, although these numbers don’t do it justice: he had 12 possessions (10 of them contested), kicked two goals (one of them a booming set-shot effort outside 50) and a series of courageous contested marks – the clear highlight his against-the-flight effort to steal a ball bound for Isaac Heeney.

“He ignited us. That mark going back with the flight, the force he hit that with, if you’re not inspired by that as a teammate, you never will be,” coach Luke Beveridge said.

“I thought he was quite brilliant in the first half and really solid after that. He was really productive and had an influence.”

By the long break, the Bulldogs were 30 points up and the Swans had only a goal to show for themselves, having been torn apart repeatedly in transition.

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Kennedy, meanwhile, had an uncharacteristically quiet start. He had just two touches in the first quarter and, in the third, he inadvertently sent a clearance kick down the throat of Josh Bruce, who went back and stretched the Dogs’ lead out even further.

The Swans wrestled back the momentum, though, and Kennedy (who finished with 19 possessions) made up for his earlier error by booting a goal himself in the last term. He was instantly mobbed by his teammates, who tried their best to seize the moment, but they couldn’t quite hold off the Bulldogs for long enough, and a late soccered effort from Jack Macrae doused their hopes.

“You can’t get off to a start like that,” Swans coach John Longmire said. “We didn’t use the ball going forward as well as what we could have. We didn’t play with the speed that we needed to and we didn’t adjust quick enough and they get you on the counterpunch on the way back.”

While they faded a little, the Bulldogs did finish the game with just two fit men on the bench – Aaron Naughton (ankle) was forced from the field in the opening term, and Sam Lloyd (shoulder) in the third, with Beveridge unsure of the extent of either injury.

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For the Swans, their best was Tom Papley, who booted four goals in an electric display up forward – but the lack of a key-position target was once again painfully apparent. The sight of a limping Aliir Aliir at the death was salt into the wound, but the post-match news about Sam Naismith, who suffered another career-threatening knee injury, was a dagger in the heart.

Kennedy was clapped off the field, with the memory of his late grandfather at the forefront of everyone’s mind on Thursday – including Longmire, who owes the start of his North Melbourne career to him, after meeting with the master coach at the local Chinese restaurant in his hometown, Corowa.

“It was on a Tuesday, it was in the middle of the season and I couldn’t believe that he took the time to come up and see me,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to spend a couple of years under him as an impressionable 16-year-old from the farm and I couldn’t have had a better first coach – just a really quality person who had amazing values.

“I’ve never seen a person command a room without saying anything as much as John Kennedy senior. He was just the ultimate person, a great human.

“Josh found out this morning. I spoke to him a couple of hours afterwards and he just had that attitude … ‘it’s what granddad would have wanted, get on with it’.

“Josh has got an amazing ability to do that and you’d imagine now he probably takes a deep breath and takes it in a bit more.”

W BULLDOGS 3.2 6.3 7.4 10.7 (67)
SYDNEY 0.1 1.3 2.8 5.9 (39)
GOALS – W Bulldogs:
Bontempelli 2, Naughton, Dale, Bruce, Macrae, Vandermeer, West, Lloyd, English. Sydney: Papley 4, Kennedy.
BEST – W Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Macrae, Smith, English, Wallis, Lipinski, Dale. Sydney: Papley, Parker, Lloyd, Kennedy, Dawson.
INJURIES – W Bulldogs: Naughton (ankle), Lloyd (shoulder). Sydney: Nil.
UMPIRES – Rosebury, Deboy, Wallace.
CROWD – 605 at SCG.

VOTES
9 Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
8 Jackson Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
8 Tom Papley (Sydney)
7 Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs)
7 Mitch Wallis (Western Bulldogs)

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