Currently, our lives seem to be under the control of the government and their desire to keep us ‘safe’ by encouraging us to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Thankfully, this approach seems to be working as fewer and fewer cases are being reported due to these measures.
But the question that is troubling me, and perhaps troubling you too, is what will happen after?
This global pandemic has affected so many people, and of course has contributed to the deaths of many. Will we forever be living in fear of another outbreak of the virus? Will it mutate and change, become more contagious than it already is and cause even more deaths? Will everyone be required to be immunised against the virus once a vaccine has been developed? And when a vaccine is developed, will it be put through rigorous testing before being widely released, or will it be rushed to market under the pretence that it will enable our communities to relax and go back to their normal lives?
For me, these questions bring up more questions about control and who has ultimate control over us and our bodies. Hence my opening question, ‘Who’s in control?’
I’m a firm believer in the idea that we are ultimately in control of our own health and our own bodies. I do not subscribe to the idea that we can outsource all of our health issues to doctors and other medical professionals and let them ‘fix’ us. I’m not saying that doctors are useless and have no value or importance. What I’m saying is that having a degree of ownership of our health is extremely important and we can, and should, use medical professionals when required, but we shouldn’t turn to them as the ultimate source when looking for solutions to our health problems. Some of you may not agree, and I respect your opinion, but please hear me out.
Your health is governed by several factors – those that are within your control, and those that are not. The factors you can control are your diet, your levels of physical activity, your social interactions, and your psychology or mind set (how you think about yourself and the world around you). The main factor that is out of your control is your genetics – you have no choice who your parents are. However, you do have power over the expression of your genetics through the factors you have control over i.e. diet, lifestyle, and psychology.
In other words, you are born with a certain ‘constitution’ that you inherit from your parents (genetics). How you live your life will affect the expression of this, and this expression is your ‘condition’. What you do with your body and mind in your life will continue to be mirrored in your condition. I truly believe this, as this is something that I have experienced in my life, and through my awareness and understanding of the factors I can control, I have been able to heal myself and significantly improve my condition. I also believe that all of us have the ability to become healthy if we make it a choice. The idea that we will inevitably become sick and inflexible as we age is a case in point. Yes, your body will deteriorate as you get older, however you also have the choice to treat your body as the magnificent being it is and take steps to keep it healthy, strong and flexible by using the factors you have control over to your advantage.
So, back to my question about who is in control. We are currently living in conditions where the control of certain aspects of our freedom have been taken away. However, each one of us has the power to control how we manage in these circumstances. Ultimately, as issues around community health will continue to change, we may find that we come under pressure to subscribe to measures that go against our values in relation to health. If this is the case, I hope that as a community, we will have the courage to stand up for our right to maintain the control of our health in our own hands.