Public Health: What Problems Are #Preventable ?

Cover – Preventable How a Pandemic Changed the World & How to Stop the Next One by Devi Sridhar

Mental health charity Mind says spending time in nature is good for our mental health.

And they are right.

Being outdoors means: slowing down; breathing deep and feeling the sun on your face.

How many office-based headaches, neighbourhood tensions, or bereavement blues could be lessened by some outdoors therapy?

Of course it is privilege to simply take a long walk outdoors, after months of lockdown. But it is a privilege that 174,000 British people can never again enjoy (they are the ones who have died of Coronavirus since March 2020).

There is a story behind each of those deaths, whether they happened at home; in a hospital ward; or in a care setting.

Many deaths will have been preventable, had there been more inspired public health leadership in place, before the pandemic arrived.

No one can say for sure how many lives might have been saved if hospital patients had been tested before returning to their care homes, (or if there had been effective protective rings around those homes).

In her new book (cover shown above) Professor Devi Sridhar does ask some searching public health questions about how society can be reimagined to help reduce the impact on society of future pandemics. Taking action now might reduce the number of parents, friends and neighbours we lose in the next pandemic, whenever it occurs.

Take a look at her book, it is worth your time.

Merry #Christmas And A Happier New Year

At the end of 2020 I got my wires crossed when answering a friend’s text. She had asked how I was feeling, and she felt my answer didn’t say enough (I wondered if, maybe she was going through something herself).

Anyway, I let her know I was doing okay and would catch up with her after Christmas. I reckoned there would be a break in the lockdown in 2021 and we could meet for a drink or something.  

That didn’t happen.

I don’t know whether my friend was feeling unwell in December 2020 when she texted, but she died with Covid mid-January 2021.

I felt numb when I got the news. Then I cried, because her death was so unfair, given her age.

This Christmas I’m thinking about her family and everyone else who has lost someone in 2021 (due to Covid or not).

I hope they are doing okay this Christmas.

I hope they will find the right words to celebrate their loved one’s life, even though they are absent from the table.

I hope they / we all have a happier new year.

( Photo by Any Lane from Pexels )