By Anne Welsh at Painless Universal
May 5th, 2020
With everything going on, the world is finally getting better. Recovering from all the long term damage we have inflicted on it over the years. We have done so much damage through the polluting of the air. Today when you look around the world is cleaner, we have paused for a moment given our mind the time to reset, our government is also rethinking and now valuing the importance of a competent Healthcare system.
So why did it take a pandemic before we realised what we needed to do? Well it’s really hard to stop. Let me share my story. When I started my job in the financial sector, I never wanted to stop as I felt I will miss out on further promotion. No matter how tired I was, I just kept pushing and the thoughts of giving up never crossed my mind. Day after day I kept pushing so I would never disappoint anyone.
But one thing I failed to remember was that being sick a lot increased the time it took for me to recover each time. Over the years I have learned that it is ok to be sick because that is what the coping mechanism of your body is telling you. Let me tell you what its like being sick, especially in my case living with sickle cell. You are in a lot of pain, you feel very tired and unable to move, you start getting depressed as you will be unable to do work for a while, less hungry than usual especially due to the medicine you are taking and many more. But in all of this the most important thing going on is the part where the body has to work to recover from illness.
Your body sets priorities when fighting an illness. It is the same process that you do with the tasks you are undertaking at home or the office. You have to pass that responsibility to someone else while you get better. Your brain and body must resolve to fight against infection or the chronic illness that has relapsed again in the most effective way. Your energy needs to be on doing this specific task. As humans, it’s natural to be highly dependent on others to care for and support us when we are sick.
Since the illness will make you fatigued, this in return reduces your level of physical activity, which leaves more energy available for the immune system. Our change in appetite and food preferences push you to eat or sometime not to eat to support the fight against infection. For me feeling sad, depressed or anxious gives me time to reflect and think about what I need to improve on, so I don’t repeat another crisis. Doing this also provides an honest signal to your friends and family that you need help.
So on this note, you see why the earth needed to be sick so it can recover. The exercise in cleaner air brought about by widespread shutdowns has truly shown us that our planet was very sick and in deep need of recovery. We all got so busy and we were afraid to stop to clean our planet. We got accustomed to pollution that we hardly stop to think what it meant to enjoy clean air.
The cleaner air is also a reminder of how deadly air pollution is. The World Health Organization says dirty air, both indoors and out, results in the shortened life span of seven million lives annually worldwide.
Ending on this note, as much as COVID 19 was bad for all of our health and caused so many deaths, it was also a reminder of the need to stop and reflect on the damages we have created in the communities we live in and the need to strive for a focus reducing pollution.