If at first you don’t succeed….

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As I write this blog the UK news and in many countries around the world is focussing upon vaccination programmes -seen as the first line of defence to defeat the virus and put an end to the pandemic. In the UK the programme is geared to treat front line workers and the vulnerable first. The vulnerable are classified as having underlying health conditions.

So, what is meant by an underlying health condition?

It’s a medical definition that applies to any person, irrespective of age, who has an illness which weakens the immune system. The vast majority of people who contract an illness will go to their GP for diagnosis and treatment if it persists and over counter medications do not relieve it. In some cases where the nature of illness attacks the immune system, such as Immune system disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, and Psoriasis, will be treated with immune suppressing drugs that include steroids in order to ward off the illness. Unfortunately such treatments are more apt to develop complications of COVID-19 compared to those who don’t use these drugs.

Generally speaking older people have weaker immune systems, but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone over the age of 60.

A weakened immune system, which makes you vulnerable to COVID-19 can be caused by a number of factors besides certain medications treating illness as already mentioned. Lack of sleep, anxiety, low vitamin D, too few fruits and veggies, high-fat diets, too little time outdoors, lack of exercise, too much alcohol, grief, and of course, nicotine. You’ve only got to scan this list to realise current restrictions on movements, inability to work, loss of face-to-face contact, can develop discontent, destroy your sense of purpose, and cause overindulgence and inactivity.

Over time the human immune system will develop antibodies that will neutralise viral infection, as was the case in the 1918 flu epidemic. And one has to be reminded the superpowers of the 18th and 18th century globalising their influence wrought havoc amongst indigenous peoples whose immune systems had been environmentally protected before invasion. And people who have little or no interaction with allopathic medicine can have adverse effects from being introduced to it.

It is recognised the majority of people who get the virus are in the under sixties age groups.

The majority of these age groups are people who work for a living -many who now are furloughed or have lost their means to earn income. So, the difficulty we face is whilst restricting peoples movements reduces transmission of the virus -at the same time these restrictions are having unhealthy effects.

So, what can we do about it?

In my mail last week I pointed to ways in which we could strengthen our immune systems and actions we should take to minimise the risk of getting the virus. This week, I would like to add something about foods and lifestyle.

We need to shop more discerningly!

Some foods are loaded with nutrients called antioxidants -look for these; Elderberry, button mushrooms, Acai Berry, oysters, watermelon, wheat germ, low-fat yogurt, spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, garlic, chicken soup, pomegranate, ginger, and tea (choose your favourite)!

Every time a sheep baa’s he loses a bite!

The old saying also applies to us when we talk whilst eating -the damning difference is we unconsciously eat whilst we do that. Feel what you eat and drink -the emotional nature of our body system will then capitalise on the nutrient value of what we ingest. Eat and drink for its own sake -if you do so watching TV some part of the nutrient value will be wasted.

What else can you do?

And talking about TV, as most people are watching more, or playing games -tune in to programmes which benefit both mind and body. Laughter is a good medicine -helps stimulate, try for comedic films and shows. A bit of romance does you good as well! Try to avoid programmes that portray violence, health problems -and, dare I say it; news. Particularly news about the virus! Oh, and by the way whilst games stimulate grey matter they also shut you off from body awareness -not to mention being addictive.

So, the message is if you are still struggling -try, try, and try again!

The poem I’ve written for this post is:

The Reassuring Voice

Ah, winsome love what aches your heart
breaks the rhythm of mentor’s rhyme;
stuns you into silence?
Does the world debase, sully your native innocence,
trade on gentleness, draw on the giving Self?
Do you fear the well has gone dry,
your effort a hoist of cold rocks?
Brain tired of strictures, of duty
and of duty denying the Self?

Fear binds good with bad
Gives security cutting edge.

Let go, let go.

Give your mind a rest,
pulse your heart in Nature’s way.
Feel the moment,
Rebirth your innocence…

And know
this is a better way.

The Eye of the Storm

This is my first blog mail of 2021 and I wish you all a happy new year, though I guess you will not be champing at the bit, wanting to get moving and doing stuff you’ve promised yourself. The start of a new year usually means re-establishing or generating want or needful actions, but not this year. Instead we must carry on where we left off -restricted to only necessary actions out and about, and indoors doing our best to keep in contact with loved ones and friends.

As I write the UK powers that be are informing us we are in the eye of the storm with grim statistics to back up the statement. What they don’t want to say is it’ll get worse before it gets better. And given the plan to vaccinate the entire population over the age of 18 before the autumn are still promoting the expectation of social distancing measures next winter! We need to pause and think this through. 30 odd percent of the population is asymptomatic according to research -if you (and that includes children) are in that category it’s not unreasonable to suggest you wouldn’t want the vaccine. Data available, but not widely circulated, advises the vast majority of people who have sadly passed away, suffer from underlying health conditions, or whose immune systems have been weakened by their lifestyle.

And why is the virus now ‘out of control’? We have a new variant which infects us more easily -and that despite the fact lockdown measures have been heightened in the last month to include the entire UK. So -does that mean more people than hitherto are flouting the restrictions? Maybe not -and here’s the reasons why. We’ve just had Christmas, or sort of, a period of time when mostly drink and eat more than we normally do. How many, for example, fall asleep in front of the TV, not because they have been sleeping in bed less, but because the body is in overload and needs to shut down. Add to that generous helpings of wine and spirits, and the evitable chocolates and you get a mix which will cause the body to labour. The net result is a weakening of the immune system. This problem was further exacerbated by the expectation of family mixing -which at the last moment was banned. Result? People shopped for more than themselves -but you don’t throw it out do you? So -Christmas and New Year fare has lasted longer than it might otherwise have done -and the body system overloaded for longer.

And what happens when you are restricted from seeing and socialising with other people? We lose the emotional and mental interaction, feelings we share outwardly and experience a rise of inner emotional and mental frustration. And what do we do to counter negative thinking? We tend to eat more or/and more and at different times. The body’s cycle of input and output is impacted. It struggles to manage itself. Result? Weakening of the immune system. It is well known if you exercise the body overall (and I don’t mean hard) the action will develop lactic acid to the muscles and in turn reduce your feelings of appetite, not to mention giving the brain mind a rest from viewing itself. A walk before you eat is helpful to controlling your appetite.

We also know the majority of drugs used to treat underlying health conditions, including antibiotics and antidepressants weaken the immune system. If you must take them do everything you can to eat sensibly and exercise regularly. Another big help is to drink plenty of non-stimulative beverages, and that ideally includes plain water.

Now regarding this new variant of the virus we must be mindful of often used surfaces we touch when out in supermarkets and other food stores. The number of supermarket employees going down with the virus has increased dramatically in the last month, and be aware that reusable face masks do need to be sanitised regularly. As I’ve mentioned a number of times before use coconut oil on your hands and face and in the very least up the nostrils and on the lips. Studies carried out in the Philippines have shown the oil does break down the contact connection the virus makes to attach itself to you.

The poem I’ve written for this post is:

Great Isis Breathes

The shortest day has breathed its last
and now the leaf gowned evergreen
silhouettes the moon cream night;
and an eerie coldness starts to bite.

Snails have long since curled in shells
unforgiving winter reigns supreme;
now the ruffled Robin sleeps
and nocturnal foxes roam the streets.

Migrating birds have long since flown
the bare branched trees bend voiceless
to the ice gloved wind; their boles
and root claws shelter scavengers.

Warm-blooded folk close their doors
and shell like dream of foreign sun
church and chapel toll their bells
the great and good go volunteer.

And all the while great Isis breathes
incarnate; giving, taking, birthing
trees and birds, moles and men
power greater than our human ken.