A serious article? It’s certainly not a poem.
It’s been a while since I wrote a serious article. I have been enjoyed sharing the joys of my poetry with newfound kindred spirits who have also been sharing wonderful poetry and inspiring words of inspiration, thoughtfulness and learning.
All the while there has still been the backdrop of Covid-19. It has touched so many people and life has changed. Many have died and many have lost loved ones. Jobs, families and way of life for all has changed in some way. I focus on us here in the West and I want to emphasise this.
I’ve been extremely busy over the last few weeks yet keen to get this article published and out there.
So, the title is the essence of what’s been on my mind. It’s been on my mind for some time to be honest.
Do all the pieces of the Covid puzzle actually fit?
What are the pieces you may ask?
Well, I will spell it out in an analytical sense so you get an idea of the pieces I see in the puzzle to crack the code so to say. Firstly, the vaccine has been drummed far and wide. It’s 95% of the news and conversation around Covid-19.
I’m no anti-vaxxer by any means but I do confess to being a “concerned” and “worried” citizen. But I’m no hypocrite. A child in the U.K. has at least ten vaccinations by the age of one and I’ve had many over the years to travel to various countries. I never really questioned them, so why now you may ask?
I’m no medical expert as well, but I have considered my “lived” experience over the last year. That’s what’s important to me.
Where are you?
I was so looking forward to getting a knock on my door through the test and trace programme or being called up as an NHS volunteer, or even asked to be part of a random sample to test for Covid. None of this happened. I followed the news and given my knowledge of technology I witnessed what a complete shambles the Test and Trace programme was even if only £4bn of an allocated £22bn was spent in the first year. A failure to the nth degree. The last year of government has been a movie of a failure so yes, I took a step back to assess any initiative coming my way.
The idealist in me has always felt that humanity is missing an opportunity out of this darkness to change. Not to go back to a ‘normal’ we had before but for things across many areas to be better than we had before.
So, back to the pieces of the Covid puzzle. The vaccine is a given and as I’ve said, I’m no medical expert. But when it comes to health and wellbeing, diet and lifestyle I think I have more options to affect my own destiny.
So, the pieces are
- Health and wellbeing
Why are the latter 3 of these areas being neglected in the messaging?
The magic bullet or the way out as it is sometimes referred to is the vaccine. That’s the message we hear daily. Get those jabs in arms!
I want to concentrate on the other three areas.
Health & Wellbeing
Covid-19 does not discriminate. That was the tag line that came to light not long after it ravaged through communities, countries and continents. Whether you were fit with no illnesses or carrying many issues it can get you. But then we started to look deeper. Age was a factor as the natural progression of “physical” changes made the body weaker and more susceptible to the illness. But what if you were 80 with no underlying illnesses?
I spoke to a young friend in his early 30s whose health and fitness levels I can only describe as very fit (above average) and he has just recovered from a ‘bad’ case of Covid. He was a semi-pro footballer (soccer player) in the past. In his case there was no hospital involved. For others, it has unfortunately not been the case.
If you are over 70 or is it 80?, have diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, obesity…the list goes on then there is a higher risk if you catch Covid. In the UK alone 28% of people are classified as obese. Is that not an epidemic in itself? Where has the messaging been to attack and address this with vigour?
The point I am trying to make is that are we a healthy human race or just a human race? Has it taken pandemic to realise this? Are we even listening to the fallout of this and addressing the health of the population?
Where is the huge push to address obesity as the chronic problem it is? It was and is an acceptable illness to tolerate for the lifestyle we are living. For every mention of the vaccine lets also get a mention for improving our physical and mental health. But we don’t get this, why?
It’s closely linked to health and wellbeing but I like to make a distinction here. I think it’s important to look at our consumption of food in isolation of the physical and activity. It is obvious that many of the illnesses I’ve mentioned have been caused or exacerbated by the human diet. Yet, there has been little mention of this in the drive to build a healthier human mind and body.
We are at a juncture where the vaccine is touted as the saving grace but what about our eating habits? How we weaken our immune system? The evidence of excesses in saturated fats, sugars and carbohydrates has been proven time and time again but the economic weight of this means it will not be highlighted. Nations and economies will suffer far too badly.
I guess this is the one that can go in different directions depending on what you focus on. Did we used do too much or has the idealist in me retreated into a happy-zen-like-state-sleeping-walking-meditating-new-being? Do you want the normal we had before, or have you discovered some semblance of calmness in the last year you want to continue?
- Do we travel too much? Well, the answer (if you listen to news on climate change is yes) but many of the same also want “normal” to return so holidays can get boom time…but what happened to climate change?
- Selfish enough to want the morning coffee at the local cafe during Covid (it’s essential right?) or care enough to not let the local business fail?
- Missing eating out and theatre nights? The ills of the hospitality sector and the arts have been laid bare. The working practices, contracts of employment and wages are in no way normal.
- Do we need to work 5 days a week in the office where the inequality between men and women was always on show. Now we can still see it when many work from home but it’s a wake-up call for employers now.
- Commuting in cramped trains, collecting germs and bad hygiene all around or having flexitime where it’s proved a success for many?
- Children studying at home and parents not coping, but hey they are your children?
- Teachers having to go the extra mile for remote learning with little support and still working 5 days a week or probably 7 with catching up on planning?
There are many more examples I’m sure, but you get what I mean, right?
The thing is do we really want “our” lifestyle to change? The answer is comprehensively no for the masses. But have you ever stopped and wondered if it can be better than pre-Covid?
When we start to look at our lifestyle, we can see what Covid has exposed what was already happening and a lot of it was not good at all.
The reality now is the talk of “new normal” is no more and it’s just about “returning to normality now”.
I find it sad but there is so much momentum from those who just want what we had before without taking time to understand what didn’t work. But I must remember I’ve got a job and have had during the pandemic so biased? I probably am.
Oh yes, l almost forgot — holiday’s for the summer are the focus, not a reset of health and diet. It’s about the lifestyle we crave to come back so that normal can return and the Covid puzzle can at last be solved…..until next time.
Maybe we heeded the warning a little bit but certainly not enough as I fear a next wave beyond Covid-19 could be something we cannot even imagine.