💪 IMMUNE RESILIENCE #25: HUMAN CONNECTION, COVID-19 & BLACK LIVES
Immune Resilience Series #25: Human Connection, Covid-19 & Black Lives. I wonder if humankind has ever felt more vulnerable, alone, disconnected, misunderstood and unhappy? All these are factors which impact powerfully on our sense of self-worth and value, and also provoke a chronic and enduring stress response which depletes and shuts down our immune system.
What can we learn from Covid-19, the horrific George Floyd incident and other high-profile and enduring occurrences of racial prejudice which have placed a spotlight social and health discrepancies and the ultimate consequences for those from BAME backgrounds? Can we regain our humanity towards one another and live healthier, happier and more connected and fulfilled lives?
In this post I want to share perspectives from three influential voices in health space: Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Dr Vivek Murthy and Darryl Edwards from recent episodes of the excellent Feel Better, Live More podcast series by Dr Chatterjee.
The first is from Dr Vivek Murthy, the US Surgeon General under Barack Obama.
During the podcast, they discuss:
- what authenticity really means and how powerful it is to be truly vulnerable
- the consequences of this pandemic causing a social recession as well as an economic recession
- how lockdown is making an already chronic problem of loneliness much worse.
But the conversation is largely about hope and optimism – could the outcome of our separation, in fact, be a social revival? Are we realising more than ever before that we need to put people first?
Could it be time for us to take stock of how much we’ve missed our family, friends, even strangers – and decide how we want those relationships to be going forwards? Dr Murthy believes we need to make an explicit commitment to other people – reaching out to others and giving our undistracted time when we do. Service, he says, is a powerful antidote to loneliness – it’s you adding value to the world.
Watch the podcast here:
Dr Murthy has also released a book - Together - about the healing power of human connection.Could it be time for us to take stock of how much we’ve missed our family, friends, even strangers – and decide how we want those relationships to be going forwards? Click To Tweet
The second perspective is from Darryl Edwards founder of The Fitness Explorer and Primal Play.
Darryl, who resides in London, is a former investment banking technologist turned movement coach and author. He is the founder of the Primal Play Method and a physical activity, health and play researcher who regularly presents as a keynote and motivational speaker at academic, clinical, health promotion and corporate events worldwide. Darryl’s April 2019 TED talk “Why working out isn’t working out” has now been viewed over 600,000 times!
In the podcast they discuss:
- Darryl's experiences growing up in the UK with black skin: he was born in the UK but his grandparents came here from Jamaica in the early 1950s. Whilst Darryl is a leading light in the wellness industry, he’s also one of the few black faces. And perhaps, until now, we haven’t thought enough about why.
- The very origins of the transatlantic slave trade, the ‘social construct of race’, and dehumanisation of African people in the late 14th century. Darryl describes how, far from being a US-only problem, transatlantic slavery was introduced by Europeans throughout the world and capitalised upon by the British.
- How racism didn’t end with the abolition of the slave trade but continued through systemic laws of suppression, oppression, colonisation and segregation.
- Shocking examples of racism Darryl has experienced, from playground bullying through overt workplace discrimination to the fact that, as a black man, the police have pulled him over while driving at least 100 times, including at gunpoint.
- How should we respond - how all of us, not just the black community, have a responsibility to internalise racism and think ‘that could have been me’.
At the end of the day, we must remember this incontrovertible fact: EVERY aspect of humanity biologically, psychologically, socially, environmentally and spiritually is inextricably connected with each other and with this planet ... and we continue to ignore this at our peril. We are hard-wired to connect and empathy and compassion surely have to be part of the solution.
Related Feel Better Live More podcasts:
Resilient health is holistic health…
Our health is in our hands … WE make the decision to create the lifestyle changes that bring energy, vitality and resilient health… so let’s take the first step, however small, and walk purposefully and consistently towards those goals.
This post is part of my Immune Resilience Series – with this series, I’m making a commitment to my subscribers to provide helpful, evidence-based information and insights into what we can do with nutrition and lifestyle medicine to build immune resilience – the capacity of our immune system to respond to external challenges (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) and return to a healthy state of wellbeing.
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Our risk for contracting communicable diseases like the Covid-19 virus increases when our immune system is weak and a weakened immune system is largely the result of a less-than-optimal diet and an unsupportive lifestyle.
Even as we are experiencing this current crisis, we are also seeing underlying epidemics of chronic diseases of every kind – diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, degenerative, digestive and autoimmune disorders across the globe. These conditions too, are largely diet and lifestyle-driven and they are preventable.
We need to act now
We have robust science to show us that what we eat has never been more important for our health and, because all life is inextricably connected, for our planet. The Real Food Solution will help you to discover the power of real food as medicine for better health.. for you and for our planet.
Crises like Covid-19 are a test our humanity… let’s stop queuing up for loo rolls and start creating a strong, resilient foundation of immune health… together.
Stay safe, stay informed and get empowered, Izabella.