November 29, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Protecting the NHS is a great motivation. But what about the 45,000 plus people who have already died?

AFP via Getty
AFP via Getty

Amongst the muddled messages coming out of the Johnson government is a concern that we may be facing a second wave of coronavirus infections as we go into the winter.

Yet again, it appears that the target will be to “protect the NHS”.

There is never any suggestion that the purpose of government is to protect the people of the UK. The only concern of the Johnson cabal is to avoid the embarrassment of the health system getting overwhelmed and the attendant publicity that this would attract. So long as these tragic deaths remain out of sight and we are not confronted with bodies in the streets, it would seem that the government is content to treat them as collateral damage.

When is the media going to confront Johnson and his confederates over their priorities?

Neil Mander
Devon

I appreciate that everybody wants to blame governmental communications for the current travel problems. But if people have been continually warned to keep a safe distance from others, what has made them think that a holiday abroad was going to be somehow sacrosanct?

Cole Davis
Norwich

Tiny violins

I’m afraid my heart doesn’t bleed for people who having acquired a beautiful tan on holiday in Spain now find themselves unable to show it off to friends because they have to self-isolate for two weeks so that a further spread of the Covid virus might be prevented. Fourteen days will pass comparatively quickly; just ask those of us who have been shielded for more than 130 days. Consider also the nearly 50,000 people who have died in this country alone, and the countless more who grieve for them.

It should have been obvious that almost unrestricted foreign travel would open the way for further infection.

I think the government, for the first time in this crisis, has acted both swiftly and decisively. And that’s a statement I certainly didn’t expect to make.

Rosemary Mathew
Cambridge

We’d be happy to swap?

Jacinda Ardern’s approval rating is now 60.9 per cent to celebrate her 40th birthday. Why so low? If the New Zealanders aren’t willing to give her nearer 100 per cent, I wonder if she would consider a transfer here?

Alistair Vincent
London

Obesity issue

So-called ”lifestyle diseases” could be virtually wiped out if people had a bit more help with making better lifestyle choices, of which attaining and maintaining aerobic fitness is probably the best because of its positive impact on negating most other lifestyle health risk factors (including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and bowel cancer).

Going forward, education and programmes to improve and maintain population aerobic fitness levels should become a priority for national health. Assessing healthy levels of aerobic fitness is simple, via walk/run/step tests, or more sophisticated methods. Standards describing health benefits are already known. Once the individual’s current level is known, suitable programmes can be recommended.

This whole positive scenario is ripe for your national ambition, Boris Johnson. For example, we could all have an aerobic fitness passport, and regular physical MOTs as part of our medical records. The armed forces could be co-opted to help with this process, and a national fitness campaign could and should be organised, properly funded and maintained, not least because of the benefits and savings to the NHS that would accrue.

The lack of healthy aerobic fitness levels is the real concern regarding health in general, and deaths from coronavirus in particular. The positive move now would be to get to grips with promoting the benefits of, and forming action plans for, aerobic exercise and fitness programmes first. Obesity will be eradicated; healthier eating habits will follow; a healthier, happier, and more functional population will follow, almost as surely as night follows day!

Kevin Archer
Scarborough

Amazing women

I must applaud the splendid article by Rachel Reeves (The women MPs of 1945 deserve to be celebrated), pointing out the momentous achievements in that first post-war government.

If I may, I feel it is worth adding that, Ellen Wilkinson was also a skilled writer; in 1932 she wrote an entertaining whodunnit novel, suitably based in the Palace of Westminster, called The Division Bell Mystery.

The good news is that you do not have to visit many old bookshops to find an original as it was republished in 2018 and having read it twice, I can thoroughly recommend it.

Robert Boston
Kent

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