In a few weeks, trillions of Cicadas from a colony called Brood X will swarm 15 states in the US. What makes this unique is that these Cicadas emerge after 17 years of hibernation.
The Cicadas come singing and mating for 5 weeks as soon as the ground hits 64F.
We may not have been in hibernation for 17 years but humanity is certainly coming out of a hibernation of its own this spring as vaccinations ramp up and return to "normal" enters a horizon we can picture.
In our return to normalcy, it would seem we are all ready to sing and regain contact with family and friends.
We have some learned lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic that we can take as we re-enter the world -
1. Have you noticed that how few in your circle have gotten the flu or a bad cold this past year? Hospitals have reported over 90% decrease in the flu epidemic in 2020. Physical connection is an important facet of being human, yet we shouldn’t let go of the idea behind safe distancing. Do you really need to stand right behind the person in front of you at the grocery line or coffee shop?
2. We won’t be throwing all our masks in the garbage. Why not keep some handy in the car, office or purse? In 1 year from now, will you really feel that awkward walking through the airport or other heavily crowded areas with a mask? If we continue to wear masks in certain situations, it will never feel as odd as it did for each of us when we started this practice in the spring of 2020.
3. How much more time sitting do you think you did over the past year versus prior years? No matter how active I was this past year, it was difficult to avoid sitting more this past year. In a WFH environment, walking around happened less. Its now time to sit less…a lot less! There is no lack of evidence that sitting leads to many health issues and a shorter life span. A meta analysis (meaning a highly reliable series of studies) was done on sitting. Look at this chart below:
When sitting 8 hours or 12 hours a day, your risk of mortality goes up by 20% and 50% respectively. Be more conscious of how many hours you sit as you return to normal. Shoot for 4 hours a day which studies show does not increase your risk of death.
4. No matter what precautions we may take, we will soon be living with more exposure to colds, flus and other transmittable diseases by virtue of being physically close to one another. We do however have a key natural defense which we take for granted – our noses! Nose breathing is one of the most important factors for optimal health. Your nose filters out pathogens, fine dust that you do not want in your lungs. It essentially humidifies and conditions the air that goes to your lungs.
When you breathe through your nose it produces nitric oxide which is an anti-viral chemical which destroys a lot of pathogens. Every breath through the nose is a better option than breathing with your mouth, especially when close to others.
Hoping that as we come out of this hibernation, we live longer and better lives by consciously thinking about how much we sit, how we breathe, distancing when possible and still wearing masks.
Have a great weekend,
Attention is our mental currency that helps us to be more present. Kasper van de Meulen