- March 25, 2021
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Health
The SARS – COVID 2 virus has caused widespread death, grief and fear, the separation of families, the cancellation of many a family Christmas, and huge economic disruption. It has literally changed our world. But amidst the doom and gloom here are five things we have learned for our long-term benefit.
Public and private health
Washing your hands and how to do it. In all honesty how often did you wash your hands before Covid? But now we have all re-learnt what we were told as children.
In March 2020, the Mayor of London claimed it was safe to travel on London Underground without a mask and I immediately thought back to my early days in the City, crammed into a tube train, with someone’s nose in my armpit and my nose in someone’s hair. And I thought, if ever there was a time to wear a mask, that was it.
The fact is that washing hands, cleaning surfaces, mask wearing has not only slowed down the spread of Covid, it has decimated flu and cold viruses this winter.
This might be a London thing, but people were forever pushing past everyone else, or even walking into them. The two metre rule now means we stay clear of each other, and even thank strangers who move out of our way.
Personal space has been given a boost and as result people generally are more polite to each other and particularly to the elderly and people with toddlers and pushchairs.
Bear with me on this. As a society we have medicalised death. With some religious exceptions, we no longer bathe the deceased or lay them out in the front parlour (not that many of us have a front parlour). Ask yourself, how many dead bodies have you seen?
How can there possibly be anything positive to find in this?
First, I have noticed that a lot of my clients no longer seem to believe that they will live forever (in other words putting it out of their mind), and now accept that death is a “when” not an “if”. This is important because everyone should prepare for the inevitable.
I am a big fan of Dying Matters, a charity which helps people to prepare for the inevitable and have frank conversations with their loved ones.
Second, we have been reminded that a lot of illnesses can kill people (e.g. flu, measles etc.) and that many of them can be, and are, prevented by vaccination.
They may have side effects, they take time to test against various conditions and other medicines, but they do work, and actually, the UK is quite handy at developing them.
Work life balance
In the first lock down, I heard dads saying that they had taught their child to ride a bike. An activity which they had never had time for before. Rumour has it that children’s bikes sold out across the
UK. Have you heard anyone say in a wistful manner, how they missed the journey to or from work?
Over the last year, people have had a chance to experience a better work life balance. There will be some who cannot wait to get back in the office, or drop the children off at school, but many more now question the need to commute and spend their working days in an office when technology can satisfy a lot of their communication needs.