In the last seven months the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted Malaysia and the rest of the world. Some of the industries most affected were travel and tourism. However as we have entered the RMCO phase, there are certain positive signs underway. With interstate travel now permitted, we are also seeing Malaysians do their part in supporting domestic tourism by taking “Cuti-Cuti Malaysia” holidays. This is a good sign for the economy, but health and safety also needs to be prioritized.
The two important areas that we have to look into to prevent a Covid 19 infection is firstly keeping our immune system strong with the right lifestyle measures and secondly avoiding a viral load by the right preventive measures, namely social distancing, hand washing and hygienic practices and face mask when necessary.
Now that the government is in talks to slowly open up its borders it is very important that the different stakeholders in the travel and hospitality industry are going to balance the need for business and at the same time ensuring more controlled numbers and taking all the necessary precautions.
The other important thing is getting the information from the right sources. For the Covid 19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health and WHO are the right agencies to get our information. Getting information from the wrong sources can lead to more anxiety and fear. The same goes for the travel and tourism industry. As more people get ready to travel again, among the best sources of information include global protocols from the World Travel and Tourism Council and Airbnb, which just launched its Enhanced Clean programme offering enhanced cleaning protocols which are endorsed by the Malaysian Medical Association. These guidelines take into account necessary measures that need to be taken to prevent any infection. We do not want a second wave to occur here as it did in some parts of China and South Korea.
In conclusion I believe all the stakeholders involved, whether hotels or short term accommodation will do their best to be responsible and take the necessary precautions.
We all know that physical activity is good for the heart and overall health. What most people don’t know is, that it is also great for your moods. Exercise of any form is a great anti-depressant. It can also reduce anxiety and uplift our overall outlook of life. So exercise is an absolute must. What does exercise have to do with stress management? Plenty! Let me just highlight some examples of the body-mind connection:
1. Exercise reduces stress-related neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) including cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline).
2. Increases the production of endorphins, i.e. brain chemicals that enhance mood. Encephalin, another “feel good” chemical is also released into your bloodstream.
3. Improves how your body uses insulin and glucose, which lessens mood swings.
4. Increases muscle, which is the best type of tissue for burning glucose and fat.
5.Speeds the metabolic rate, i.e. the speed of biochemical reactions in cells. These reactions stimulate the production of chemicals throughout the body and the removal of waste products from the cells.
6.Keeps you slimmer. Thinner people are less prone than overweight people to suffer from depression and anxiety.
7.Can promote feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence (through the release of endorphins).
“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no ‘I will start tomorrow’. Tomorrow is a disease” - VL Allineare.
As you can see above, the benefits are incredible! But why do people detest exercise?
I believe those that do not exercise suffer from a disease called “excusitis” – always giving excuses for not exercising. Excuses are nothing more than creative avoidance, and yes, it is easier not to exercise. Whatever your excuse or excuses, one fact remains – our body was made to move. You have to get moving if you want to be mentally and physically healthy.
Exercise is the easiest way to get healthier. Start moving even if it is only for five minutes a day.
No healthy cells, no healthy body, no healthy mind. No healthy mind, no healthy body, no healthy cells.
Whichever way you put it, they are all connected. You cannot run away from the facts. There is no magic pill. The pill is exercise.
Whichever exercise you choose, low intensity or high, it must be regular – three to five times a week for fifteen to twenty minutes each session. Examples of exercise are walking, riding, hiking, swimming, yoga, tai chi and running.
Read and find out more about which exercises best suit you and get moving. It is time to make a change and get back your health.
The Plumber and the Mechanic Let me tell you a story: Once upon a time, there lived a plumber and a mechanic. They were neighbors. The plumber fixed clogged sinks. He sat and waited for customers to call, complaining of clogged sinks. And they do. One by one they knock on his door, each sounding more frantic than the other. “Help! There’s water overflowing everywhere!” cries one customer. “Mr. Plumber, you must come immediately, or else it will be too late.” Wails another. There’s panic in their voices, warbling with utmost urgency. These days the plumber’s business is really good.
On the other hand, the plumber’s neighbor, the mechanic, spends his days servicing cars. He tuned up vehicles on a periodic manner. The same cars come on a timely routine for checks, tuning, and oil changes. Sometimes he even indulges customers by giving their cars a fresh coat of paint, when it was requested. He rarely had to do major reworks, unless of course, those cars had suffered serious damages and required a total overhaul. Whenever his customers bring their cars to him, they drive up to his workshop smiling. He asks them how their day is, and they beam. “Everything is great, Mr. Mechanic,” comes their jovial response. “My car is running beautifully too. I just want to make sure it is in tip-top shape.” What do you think the story is all about? Which industry does the plumber and mechanic each represent? Yes, you are right. The plumber might be a thinly veiled representation of the massive sickness industry, more popularly known as the healthcare industry. The lesser known alternative of the healthcare industry, the small but budding wellness industry, is symbolized by the mechanic.
Treat Your Body like Your Car
As you can see, customers seek the plumber when there is already damage done that requires fixing. A burst pipe with water spraying all over the place needs to be addressed pretty much the same way as a ruptured artery, at least in theory. You try your best to apply damage control and pray it works, depending on the severity of the damage. A plumber’s job involves finding new parts to swap damaged ones, removing debris, cleaning up the mess, and if you are lucky, he won’t tell you that you need to replace the soiled wooden floors resultant of the water spill. The plumber’s job is not unlike the surgeon performing surgery on a patient with that burst artery. Both do what they do best to treat damage that has already occurred. If the patient is equally lucky, he would not sustain lasting injury to his other organs or parts of the body from that heart related mishap. Results are never guaranteed, and it would certainly cost more than if it never happened in the first place; monetary wise too.
The mechanic works quite in the opposite way. His job is to maintain cars at optimum conditions, for the very purpose of making sure that they run in perfect conditions at all times. Cars that he services on a timely manner runs low on the risk of breaking down in the middle of nowhere, or surface with unpredictable dilemmas when the driver least expects it. In addition they are a joy to drive! No rattles, no shifty gears, no temperamental air- conditioning.
It is the same with our health. Wouldn’t it be great if we maintained our health the same way we maintained our cars? Sending in ourselves for checks and tuning even when there are no breakdowns? Then we can really benefit from a body, mind and soul that has no boundaries and limitations to what we would like to do and can accomplish, every single day. Like a perfectly kept car, it can take us wherever we want to go, whenever we want. Isn’t that a marvelous taught? It is yours if you want it.
I firmly stand by the old adage of prevention being better than cure. It is cheaper for sure. Research supports this. However we still live in a world where caretakers and medical practitioners make little or no money to make sure people stayed healthy. The sad truth is cancers and other chronic illnesses generate the most money in long term treatments. But instead of blaming the realities of profitability and its resultant preference for disease treatment instead of disease prevention, why don’t we take up the cue for accountability towards what happens to ourselves? The onus then, is really up to you and I. We really do need to step up and claim responsibility for what is truly ours: our precious health. Let’s seek that mechanic more frequently, and make sure that we too, are consistently in tip-top shape. As for the plumber, let’s do what we can to make sure we don’t see him too often.