OPINION: Personal health is the best defence against Covid-19

Monday 30 November 2020 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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OPINION: Personal health is the best defence against Covid-19
PHOTO: CINEWS. 20103018

Giving children lollies is not a treat, it’s like a drug that leads to a slippery slope of addiction and obesity. By Ruta Mave.

Ten years ago, I was in New York for Thanksgiving, Macy Parade, Black Friday shopping, and the Autumn colours of Central Park. It’s an insane time of consumerism, and over indulgence. The turkey looked as large as a pig, I’m sure the legs would rival those of a weightlifter, add potatoes, cornbread, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It’s no different to our umu kaikai catering to 10 times more that are dining. The only difference is Americans don’t fill up their car boot (trunk) with the leftovers.

The parade is amazing, and the shopping is like a horde of people in a desert seeing a water hole. At the end of it, you trudge home with a hundred bags, to try on the many shoes and clothes you bought to add to the many shoes and clothes you already have, with the idea to go back the next day to buy more. Thank Covid, the lockdowns and drop in economy has made us thankful for what small mercies we already have, the good fortune of living safe, on a tropical island, with our government subsidy.

The modern day Thanksgiving is a long way from the original meeting where local Indians provided food and community to the pilgrims and in return, they introduced their religion and modern laws. Sadly, thankfulness to the Indian populations has been lost over the years. Was law and order needed in local populaces? They had no jails before the pilgrims, because all disputes were dealt as a community council. No one needed to steal, because if someone didn’t have a horse or food, the village gave from their own, so no one was left without. 

Our community spirit of this still exists but was dwindling, thank Covid, it’s come back. We may not have quantity, but we have quality lifestyle that other nations desire right now. We have freedom, to walk, stand together at prizegiving, without masks, to gather with family for birthdays and funerals. Children go to school, sports and churches can congregate without distancing. Temperate weather and fruit hanging off the trees, no one needs to go hungry, we have a safe and easy life. The threat of Covid lies beyond our borders, government bodies are acting to reduce the risk of Covid arriving. But what are we doing? We know better health and fitness reduces the vulnerability to the virus, so to survive Covid long term, we should be buying and eating fresh local organic foods. A sugar tax, would pay the way towards helping people help themselves. We are world leaders in obesity and NCD problems from the excess and indulgence from imported foods, high in sugar and fat. Improving agriculture should align with financially encouraging people to eat locally grown food. The drive to drink water should be coupled with taxing sodas, alcohol and energy drinks that are often sold cheaper. Our teeth, hearts, bones and bowels need to be realigned to healthy options to save lives. Giving children lollies is not a treat, it’s like a drug that leads to a slippery slope of addiction and obesity.

Yes, be thankful we are living Covid free, but be mindful we are not immune, we can use this time to prepare the best defence we have that is our own health. Then we will all benefit from an active and dynamic community who are productive and don’t drain the country of finances to support our overburdened health ministry. This is the time we should be thankful for our abundance and start to utilise the god given bounty we have in our backyards.