Friday, March 20, 2020

In times of uncertainty...

Time spent in nature is linked to lower stress, restored attention, a balanced nervous system, increased levels of cancer-fighting “natural killer cells”, the activation of neural pathways associated with calm, and decreased levels of anxiety and depression. Phytoncides (compounds emitted from trees and plants), relaxation, stress reduction and awe are known to enhance immune function.
Lucy Jones, In times of uncertainty, let nature be your refuge (The Guardian, Friday 20 March 2020)
I took the photo below, of a collared dove in a cherry tree (on a road in my village), on 20 March 2015:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Wages of Sin

Had we done the right thing, we would not be paying such a high price now.

We knew that aviation fuel was bad for the environment, and hence bad for us all. But we the people loved our cheap foreign holidays, especially as we were working more, as the economy recovered. Such holidays were enjoyed by millions of us, and as the travel companies packed us in, further savings were made. Doing anything about it would have been political suicide. Still, they were a significant vector in the early spread of the current pandemic. Shall we blame Chinese Catholics for visiting Italy, and ourselves too? Or shall we blame them and the dirty migrants, and foreigners in general? Our populist politicians will have little problem with our doing the latter. And it may make us feel a little better, in these difficult times. But the fact remains that we are going to pay a high price now for all those cheap foreign holidays. The world economy is going to be damaged by what needs to be done now to limit the pandemic to something that our austere public health services can cope with.

This has been yet another installment of The Irony Age.