Many of us are letting ourselves fall into two camps around the covid pandemic: science, anti-science. Health, economy. Left, right. Safety, freedom. Fear, obliviousness.
Who among us believes there is one scientific point of view? One measure of safety? Freedom without responsibility? Who believes there is one right, irrefutable answer to everything, for everyone?
Our national conversation about health seems to have narrowed to whether we wear a mask, whether we isolate ourselves. Whether we are on the side of safety or liberty.
Lest we get caught up in divisiveness, blame and fear… here are a few voices reminding us that our health and well being is in our own hands… and in our own head and heart.
Dr. Fernando Vega:
My more pressing concern regarding the impact of COVID on our health is the emotional burden carried from fear and anger in response to the virus and decisions to contain the pandemic. In my experience that burden carries a far greater cost to our health. The damage from the physiologic changes, including death, from COVID impacting our aggregate community pales in contrast to the damage from physiologic changes caused by isolation, confusion and reactivity amongst us. Shortened lives, stolen happiness is a direct consequence of a disturbed mind. Whatever numbers that are presented to us about morbidity, mortality or subsequent impairments are just numbers. It is up to each of us to interpret what they mean or follow the advice of who we trust. When others have a different interpretation and subsequent behavior it often elicits fear and anger, food for the disturbed mind. I invite each one of us to examine the impact that burden has on our well-being and consider strategies to maintain that well-being. Very little is worth compromising that. Maybe nothing is worth compromising our own well-being.
Dr. Zach Bush:
Nurture yourself and those you love
Get great sleep
Get as much outdoor activity and exercise as you can
Find a few minutes every day to be outside in the freshest air and sunlight you can find.
Stay well hydrated
Don’t watch the news
A morning glance at the headlines will be enough to keep you abreast of the hysteria, and perhaps some real facts once in a while.
Eat real food with good company
Choose foods that nourish you. Grow your own whenever possible and choose food that is regeneratively grown. Remember, the most important element of any meal is who is sitting at your table, not what is on it.
Avoid or reduce alcohol to one glass daily
Be fully present in the moment and reduce inputs that degrade your immune system.
Pursue a creative outlet for at least 10 minutes a day
Find joy in the opportunity to create.
Replace processed and sugary options with freshly grown immunity boosting fruit and vegetables.
Challenge yourself to be a kid again and feel the joy in your daily experience.
Now back to me. In addition to all of the above, in my opinion?
Wear a mask out in public! It is a minuscule sacrifice of personal freedom for a huge public health benefit.
Avoid those you don’t feel safe or comfortable around. However, ditch the fear, drop the blame, let go the righteous indignation.
Keep connected to those you love and like and find fun. Just don’t put those lovely people and yourself at unnecessary risk. Duh.