A health crisis can’t be solved by making people even more unhealthy. The only wise and sustainable way to solve a crisis is to have a helicopter view, where all aspects of life, health and human well being are being taken into consideration and where panic and fear are not parameters in decision making.
We must realize how badly quarantine and social distancing are impacting our mental health, pushing people towards fear, anxiety, depression, loneliness and suicidal thoughts. The mental crisis we are facing is harsh and cruel. It is quiet and sneaky. Mental sickness comes too easily while you stay locked at home and avoid social contact, touch and outdoor activities.
Just like me, many chefs, artists and small entrepreneurs, millions of other people around the world are losing their jobs. Like me, millions of people are doubting if their dream in life, their essence, their profession was the right way to go, doubting about their “worth” and goals. Like me, hundreds of millions of people around the world are not sure how they’re going to pay the rent next month, how they’re gonna bring food on the table. And as we speak, hundreds of millions are without a roof above their head, without food to feed their families.
In seven months entire sectors and whole professions in our society were deleted. Mainly the small ones, who, even in normal circumstances, could barely make ends meet. Hundreds of millions of people stayed home without essence, without goals, without money, without food.
The governmental decision making to this crisis worldwide is shadowed by fear, panic and lack of ability to see the whole picture. I believe that measures such as lockdowns, quarantine, social distancing and wearing of face masks are mainly combating symptoms: it’s a one-dimensional way of dealing with the virus. One which refuses to see life in all its dimensions.
There are more sustainable solutions to this crisis. Ones that don’t have all the harmful and tragic consequences that the current measures have.
The corona virus affects heavily mainly those individuals whose immune system is compromised and who are already suffering from underlying conditions like obesitas, diabetes and heart disease. If we conduct programs that encourage people to change their harmful, unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle, we could change these statistics.
We can for example, increase the prices for dairy, sugar and animal products, while making the prices of whole plant-based foods lower. We can also make it obligatory for people with underlying conditions to see a health coach, twice a month, for instance. This process will help them to regulate their life style, reverse their sickness, and rescue themselves out of the risk group. I am sure that 90% of the people will be happy to leave the risk group. And more importantly, they will be happy to reverse their chronic diseases.
When I presented this controversial idea seven months ago around the breakout of the corona virus, people told me that I was naïve, that these things take time, sometimes few months. Well, we could have done it by now. Instead of sitting on the coach, watching Netflix, gaining weight, getting even more depressed and baking cakes with sugar and dairy that makes us even more unhealthy, we could have worked on our health individually and collectively.
I do not claim that eating a plant-based diet will completely prevent people from getting sick. What I claim is that eating a whole foods plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle including movement, good sleep and care for your mental health will lower your chances of getting harshly affected by the virus (and most other sicknesses). Healthy life style doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get it, or won’t be affected, or won’t die, but it can definitely lower the chances and the numbers of people suffering from it.
I would like you to realize how harmful and dangerous the current measures are. It is in our peril that we ignore the severe damage the measures are causing. Damage which I believe (together with many scientists) will be far more harmful then the pandemic itself.
You can’t support health by suppressing health, you can’t support life by suppressing life and you can’t support well being by compromising on well being.
In what seems to be humanity’s sincere attempt in saving more lives, the corona measures damage and put end to so many other lives. If we continue to apply these measures, humanity will suffer from immense financial, mental and social disasters. These disasters will be far more severe than the corona pandemic itself and much harder to combat and reverse. We cannot ignore one important factor that doesn’t put our lives in jeopardy, one which is simple, healthy and delicious and has many positive side effects. One that is found right under our noses, on our plates. We must strive to make better decisions about what we put on there, and into our mouths, and make these decisions three times a day.