Photo above: An elderly man getting some shinrinyoku done. Holga / Ilford Delta 3200
I’m not an expert so take this with a pinch of salt but this is what I’m doing during the current pandemic.
1. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. I’m in bed by 9:30pm at the latest. Read this.
2. Exercising daily. Cycling, walking, and/or hiking. Shinrinyoku (森林浴 / forest bathing) has lots of benefits.
3. Eating as healthily as possible. I quit alcohol when I turned 40 and by doing so eliminated most of the junk food as well. Quitting alcohol is one of the best things I have ever done.
4. Practicing good hygiene. It was difficult getting hold of some hand sanitizer for a while but now we have some. I wore a mask on recent flights to and from Australia but that was based more on social compliance than actually stopping anything.
5. Keeping money in the bank and cutting back on unnecessary purchases.
6. Not panic buying. Think of the elderly and physically impaired.
7. Keeping my distance from elderly relatives (despite the fact they don’t seem too bothered by the current situation).
8. Carrying on as normal and not worrying. Like it or not this a natural phenomenon. Shit happens. 3 weeks ago a friend died of cancer aged only 20. Her life was just beginning. This time last year she was happy and looking forward to a bright future as an English teacher but then without warning it was all taken away in an instant. Nobody saw her fate coming. But now she is gone forever, nothing remains except memories and an urn full of ash. We will always be too young to worry about the future and we can’t predict what will happen anyway, so don’t do it.
None of the above is rocket science and is what we should probably all be doing most of the time anyway.
9. Calling my parents and checking in on family in the UK more often.