Taking good care of ourselves and our possessions might appear obvious but it is not as easy as it might seem; profound changes in lifestyle and how we drive for example are needed.
We would be far more careful not to become obese knowing that we ourselves would have to pay for the insulin and the knee replacements. Grudgingly we know that the CEO of a large medical aid who recently said 80 percent of disease is lifestyle related was not bluffing. If we had no cover we would take more walks that are good for both body and soul and start digging in the garden and growing more of our own food.
I have often thought that life would be far better for the majority of us if there was no insurance whatsoever. We would motor more carefully, knowing there might be a massive loss if we drink and drive, cross the barrier line or exceed the speed limit.
We would be more thorough with home maintenance and put secure burglar guards in place. We would not go building where there is risk of flood or fire.
And likewise we would take better care of our bodies. We would happily eat the whole grains that scientists tell us give protection against heart disease, and shun those delicious little tea scones and cup cakes. We would submit to the dark green leafy vegetables than even Popeye knew would make him strong, and keep bacon for high and holy days, and never let a Vienna sausage cross our lips.
There would be no sudden crisis when an insurance company like Prime Meridian Direct unilaterally cancels our insurance policies that we had for years paid good money; we weren’t planning on using it anyway.
In short, with no cover, we would take better care of both ourselves and our possessions; or suffer a terrible loss unsoftened by insurance. Our premiums would be halved.
On the other side of the coin, of course, not all health is lifestyle related; no one knows why a child suddenly becomes diabetic, or gets a tumour. And not all car accidents are of our own making.
So this is not a tirade against insurance; there clearly is a need for it. But our world would be a far happier place if we all lived as though we had no cover.
So where do we start? Where Jiminy Cricket pokes his finger, of course. That might be to take a short walk most days, eat an apple and make sure that our cars are roadworthy; that includes that all the lights are functioning properly, and the tyres are not smooth.
Taking good care of ourselves and our possessions makes good sense but are we up to the changes that will be demanded; or are we in ostrich mode and pretend it really does not matter?
It is being repeatedly said that most of us are going to be infected one way or another by Covid-19 in the next couple of years. It is interesting that many of those who have already had the flu had no idea they were supposed to have been so sick; their immune systems handled the virus with aplomb. So let us eat the foods we know are good for us, and avoid those sugary delights that completely undermine our resistance. Let us get moderate exercise, with a mask of course and luxuriate in that mandatory seven hours plus of sound sleep. In short, live as though we had no hospital insurance and be very pleased when we do not get our money’s worth from our medical aid, if we are lucky enough to have one.
At our green home pounding the streets has no appeal to us. We keep our weight down, and blood glucose in check by dead-heading the hydrangeas and digging out the mealie stalks; and barrowing loads of compost to where the peas are being planted. We believe emphatically that fresh, organically grown food and exercise are at the heart of our defense against the coronavirus; it is probably going to reach us anyway, but will it breach the moat and cross the draw-bridge?
Find a warm spot with a good cup of tea and a writing pad, and jot down what simple dinky steps are involved in making a start; taking good care of ourselves and our possessions.
The simple steps are what I am talking about; not the tricky ones like baking your own artisan bread using 100 percent wholemeal flour. It means making a sourdough starter. Then you can kiss gluten intolerance worries goodbye but that hairy chestnut is not for day one.
Once you have tasted this prime defense against heart disease you will never go back to buying supermarket bread; that has little of the lignans that are so important in preventing breast tumours and vitamin E that acts as the natural anticoagulant that stops cerebrovascular accidents. And it is delicious beyond belief.
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