The beginning of the year started with critical minutes of being at the wrong or right page at the right / wrong time, taking in the “lessons learned” and see what we can do to help ourselves, our neighbors, our globe 🌍 whether it’s climate change, a tragedy, and even an opportunity that you have not “noticed” before. Let’s reframe!
We have witnessed entire towns and villages in Turkey 🇹🇷 and Syria 🇸🇾 disappear almost 30K dead according to CNN news, with estimates over 40,000 people possibly gone due to an earthquake of the worst in the 21sr century besides the 9,5 Richter scale in Chile in 1960. Be aware of what to do to protect yourself in event of an earthquake as CDC advises for prevention!
This morning in this little church of Saint Gerasimos in the city of Patras in Peloponnesus, I heard the priest say to a very stressed videographer preparing for a christening, “don’t stress because you might not be here tomorrow”… perhaps 🤔 he was referring to stress related issues as this is February the month of preparing for heart ❤️ health, or maybe due to the massive loss in the neighboring countries. I listened to these words of wisdom and appreciated the time I had to pray 🙏🏼 for all these lost souls, and pray for the living !
Then we had the snowstorm “Barbara” did we think that it “inconvenienced” us or perhaps helped us gain some snow literacy ? In some parts of the globe it’s natural to get “snowed in” we may gather supplies and equipment great for a few days, and be realistic to ask questions of the local municipality and government. Streets which have constant potholes less room for parking will suffer more when the snow falls as snow ploughing may be difficult. In other parts of the globe local contractors help with small trucks so as to take the ownership off the government.
Elon Musk gave us his recommended reading list for the past year of 9 books (reinvent life !) and it still seems that some still like to read, while younger generations spend more time on social media and everything online and don’t read enough (except the comments on YouTube or TikTok videos!?). After a very stressful last two years finally many people are rethinking their life, beyond the New Year’s resolutions. Maybe the year of the rabbit 🐇 will finally help some of us move on for things we were stuck in our minds! Let’s turn the page …seeing new horizons and help protect our earth 🌍 as reminded by our Mardi Gras (also known as Carnival) statuette in the city of Patras waiting for their big Carnival event!
Who would have thought the post about the outbreak of Coronavirus last January would have quickly lead to our social distancing and obsessive cleaning, and toilet paper hoarding. Our sense of trying to make sense of economic disaster, among other conspiracy theories, are all seemingly science fiction now come to life and talk of an Orwellian “1984”. All because of microscopic Coronavirus CoVID-19. And this my friends is NO JOKE.
March was national month in the U.S. for Colorectal Cancer, Kidney Disease, Nutrition, and Tuberculosis, and on the mental health side, awareness for self-harm. In the U.K. this was the month for Ovarian and Prostate Cancer. And internationally, March was Red Cross Month… a critical need at this point in time. Around the world we are seeing short-staffed, overworked healthcare workers, hospitals, and we wonder what about us? Can we follow the rainbow, as we continue to build on building health literacy about disease, pandemics, and help people reduce complications to disease through health education such as continued ‘smoke free’ efforts?
Starting last March to the beginning of this year I was working with a past dental student to educate 5th and 6th graders about not starting to smoke, becoming smoke-free communities, appropriately talking about health benefits including healthy teeth (April is Oral Health month). This year it will be very different, as we will offer a similar lecture via e-learning.
On the bright side, it has given me the opportunity to tie-in the COVID-19 issue with people quitting now, for healthier outcomes. I am giving a lecture “Are you Ready to Quit?” to a group of over 50 participants, and I could not possibly find so many participants to ‘make time’ under normal living situations…sad but true. That little critter ‘corona’ virus has made us slow down….. so much so that we will all be at least 3 kilos overweight this summer for lack of exercise (even walking)!
So now for my opportunity to educate you about increasing your Omega-3s with some good fish (not just vitamins) as that Nordic favorite, Bacalao. Love that vowel-filled word “bakalao” (Bakaliaro – μπακαλιάρο in Greek) a salt-preserved fish. Now that we are all on lock-down, we are going in for those freezer reserves.. we pulled our salted friend from the freezer and de-salted it by emerging it into water overnight, just in time for the traditional meal for Independence Day in Greece March 25th. Baked in a “plaki” style dish [Recipe sample] or fried with a milky type dough [Argyro’s recipe], are great for Bacalao… but of course be mindful of any food allergies you have.
Last year we were free of disease, and posted about free-floating flags and community health as signs of “allegiance” which is good and needed to survive in times of crisis. Living it now with COVID-19, a semi-unknown “enemy”. Little Coronavirus or COVID-19 caused a “butterfly effect” where we are forced to STOP and take a good look at ourselves, and for some of us plunge into our fundamental Maslow-type need for basic necessities. An article on what would Freud say about our hoarding of toilet paper in The New Yorker is priceless.
Two sides of a coin?
Sure we are all losing money, but think, some are making money (OK you can start on the conspiracy theories and the pharmaceutical industry!).
Too much screen time and kids in the house gaming all day. Also an opportunity to try something new, even something old like play cards or checkers, keep your distance.
Be vigilant about cleaning and leaving our shoes at the door. But also an opportunity to “gather within” and DO your Spring cleaning or go a bit beyond Spring cleaning….
Worries about having enough, but what about Less is more ? You can finally clean out all the food from your cabinets and freezers to make space for more. And if a neighbor doesn’t have spaghetti how about lending a hand? oh yes. And learning a new recipe online !
“I have nothing to do”, really ? All this off- or online stuff just makes for a brief adjustment. Maybe we all NEED to slow down. Busy streets are silent and we can actually hear the birds and see more fish 🐟 in non-murky waters now.
Take care of your plants. Try talking to your plants, walking up and down your balcony or a quick jog around the house …. note: if your plants talk back to you, then it is time to call in that mental health hotline!
Those poor pets are exhausted during lockdown…. dear Sylvie here had her daily fill of walking, she’s not even my dog! All animals teach us that they love unconditionally. She does not care if we pet her WITH or without our gloves …and yes it is important during this time to at least walk in open spaces at least 2 meters away (about 6.5 feet) for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week on good days (for many of us living in lockdown, SMS is required).
You will always be free, a temporary situation will not take that away. Most people get angry because they are inconvenienced or stuck in old patterns of thinking. They are impatient. Maybe it’s time to LEARN to adjust to change. Try Participating in Zoom or TEAMS e-platforms. On the other hand, get away from the screen and read some poetry about those little things that matter.
Your loved ones will make it through and better care for themselves during this time. So, you won’t be in perfect shape this summer or maybe you will with strengthening exercises like yoga and meditation. Self-care is vital and this includes getting support!
Take care of our personal health, as our governments try to adjust to constantly changing data, and the unknown. Enjoy that wine or beer in moderation (Mind the Cup!). Why not have it be a Corona a great Mexican beer as we don’t want them losing business! Do we?