George Hasara – Columnist
By now, we all know about the routine of washing our hands, not touching our face, anti-social distancing of the magical six feet, and, of course, the new golden rule of hunkering down in our abode waiting for permission to leave. Above it all is the incessant drone of “Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives,” or some other variation of creepy Orwellian groupthink. Yep, that’s the plan. Wash, rinse, repeat, until told otherwise.
Curiously, the common-sense advice of getting sunshine has been absent from the Coronageddon health directives. This is strange because it’s important to get outside into the sunlight and fresh air, to exercise and soak in the rays that convert into immune-boosting vitamin D. While this advice might be labeled by some as tin-foiled inspired pseudo-science, one need go no further for collaboration than our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an article titled “Are There Benefits to Spending Time Outdoors?” the CDC writes, “Spending time outdoors can improve overall health and wellness. The outdoors offers many opportunities to be physically active. Time outdoors may also promote mental health and stress reduction … Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin. Having little or no sun exposure may put a person at risk for low levels of vitamin D.”
I’ve combed through health literature but I can’t find recommendations that specifically list sunlight as a safeguard against the pandemic. After all, shouldn’t sunshine be promoted if our health was really the concern? Unfortunately, the diktats are designed to drive us inside with local, state and national parks being placed off-limits. People have been arrested for paddleboarding in the ocean, sunbathing on a deserted beach, and playing catch with their child in an empty park. Insanity.
Okay, so why isn’t the “sunshine option” championed by our minders in regards to COVID-19? Unlike the free market, bureaucracy tends to act in lockstep, calibrating its decisions and actions with what other bureaucracies are doing. This is hardly a prime environment for innovation. Our local health department for instance, is not going to say anything that is outside the accepted governmental norm. Even the simple and safe recommendation of getting more sunlight for COVID-19 would cause controversy because it represents stepping outside of the conformity box. After all, if people are encouraged to enjoy the outdoors, being the social creatures that we are, who knows what that might lead to?
Nevertheless, more and more people are getting outside, walking, running and exercising without waiting for permission slips from the authorities. Even those who view the virus far more seriously than I do, are getting out and about, making this particular health-related decision on their own, and on their own terms. It’s a positive sign to see people being pro-active with possibly just a hint of defiance as well. “Get out of the house. Meet some people. Have a little fun. Get back to work!”
Notes in the Margin
• Seeing how buying booze is deemed “essential” and going to church is not, maybe it’s time (if it isn’t already happening) to revive the speakeasy but with a twist. Congregations, instead of bar patrons, could be on the lookout for a “raid” from the “G-men.” Christianity certainly has a storied history of worshiping in secret while facing extreme consequences.
• There is a growing list of sheriffs around the country who openly pledge not to carry out any governmental orders that violate the Constitution, which of course includes the right to bear arms. Locally, it would be a powerful declaration for our sheriff to do the same.
Contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org.