“If I knew back then, what I know now/ If I understood the what, why, when and how/ Now it’s clear to me, what I should have done/ But hindsight is 2020, 2020 vision.”
Who knew that Jazz/R&B legend George Benson was a prophet! It’s a little ironic the term “2020 vision” implies a clear view of the world; yet the year 2020 has lacked any definitive clarity, and in retrospect, will most likely be defined as a year of confusion, conflict and chaos. Add the potency of a global pandemic into the mix and the metaphorical lungs have to work harder to breathe through a thick, humid, tangible anxiety, especially in public spaces.
More qualified scholars may look at the more obvious offerings of 2020, but there has been a societal issue I feel has been seriously overlooked, and is already beginning to seep into 2021. I thought I’d attempt to shine a light on a shadow no one really seems to see, because I think genuine anxiety has somehow hijacked and manipulated the meaning of diversity.
“Oh Ty, what are you going on about this time? We have been making leaps and bounds with diverse representation…”
But have we?
I find mainstream culture treats “diversity” like a botanical garden; superficially celebrating the visual splendour of what we see and how that makes us feel. While I do agree that we should adore the rainbow of race, age, gender, disability, and sexuality; what does it really mean if we can’t get down on our knees, embed our hands in the textured soil, and feel for the nuanced, rich, dense, variety of alternative thought and opinion.
I don’t know where you stand on the issue of covid-19, but I’m certain your position is based on a primal urge to avoid death and embrace…
If we assume this is a common principle, we can agree, no matter your position on the virus our collective intention should feel as warm and nostalgic as biting down into a deliciously sweet McDonald’s apple pie, but instead, views tend to be polarised and leave a sharp bitterness on the tongue.
A snappy key phrase the UK government loves to use is “follow the science” but whose science do we follow? Professor Neil Ferguson a government scientific advisor who was caught NOT following the scientific guidelines he helped devise? The esteemed and respected scientists who signed the Great Barrington Declaration or the esteemed and revered scientists who signed the opposing John Snow Memorandum?
If there is a diversity of thought even within the very community that understands the nature of viral contagion, what exactly is the problem with diversity of thought and opinion within our own local sphere of engagement? Because, there is an odd, tangible undercurrent of guilty until proven innocent where it is assumed if you feel lockdowns have served no real purpose you must want to see the world burn.
In every interview I’ve watched featuring Matt Hancock (UK Secretary of State for Health) he has never mentioned what proactive steps we can take to elevate ownership of our own…err…health. My slight scepticism of mainstream health practices comes from my own experience being an overweight, eczema ridden, asthmatic.
The NHS is a fantastic service, full of humans with compassion and empathy…yet when my eczema was at its worse, not one health care professional attempted to look at the root cause (my poor lifestyle choices at the time) but made every effort to treat the symptoms I was experiencing. Similarly, during my asthma reviews not one health care professional queried my poor diet, pathetic stamina or why the scales begged for mercy when I dared to step on them.
I had no choice, except to take the reins of my health and gallop toward the direction of the rising sun, which would make my adventure very challenging but equally more rewarding and finally move in a trajectory that could explore my health potential and make me independent from the system. I am now 6 stone (84lbs/38kg) lighter, eczema free, have dramatically reduced my dependency on my steroid-based inhaler, improved my diet and physical health; yet this had little to do with the NHS, I so deeply respect and adore.
In a post Covid-19 existence it feels like we are treating the symptoms with face masks and social distancing but not also looking at the root cause. Let’s be totally honest we ALL know someone who either smokes, drinks or eats too much of the wrong thing and has been doing so for years! And…yes…that includes me and my addiction to sugar.
You can valiantly argue healthy people are also dying from this virus, but when you objectively look at the numbers, I still maintain, health, has played a key role in survival rates. Not to mention healthy people are also human, so cannot escape injuries, sickness or pain…but stand a better chance. No matter where you are in the world you certainly stand on the legacy of ancestors who used their physicality and food choices as a key factor in their method of survival.
The problem is, people equate good health with muscle definition and a six-pack, but that is not the only outcome. I can confirm with authority I am fitter than ever but I’m still waiting for my sculpted abs to arrive and being a member of Amazon Prime will not make that process move any faster!
I’m no scientist, so of course I’ll follow the guidance until more credible information comes to light, but I’ve never known a time where I have to almost speak in whispers so I’m not called out as some kinda viral anarchist or conspiracy sadist. I will wear my mask in public spaces, and keep washing my hands with no problem but I’d like the media narrative to follow the data, which to my understanding, STILL suggests that 80% of cases result in mild symptoms. So why not find out what commonality of experience the 80% have that perhaps the 20% can adopt?
I’ve read all the information available to me and it seems very possible my body can naturally defeat this thing. I am not scared of the virus, not because I live a privileged existence, not because I haven’t experienced loss or struggle, not because I think the world is perfect…but I quite like life and want to delay the inevitable alternative for as long as possible.
This does NOT mean… I want to infect the vulnerable or I’m against vaccines. I am worried about the future of our children, but I will base my interpretation of 2021 on real-world experience and certainly won’t allow it to be defined by an attention-seeking, manipulative, self-serving mass media.
Until next time.