Cooking with Dot

Finding Health Benefits in a Pandemic

Enough. We know that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing lots of harm. Already, more than 160,000 precious souls are dead because of it. It’s hitting people with obesity and other chronic conditions especially hard. It’s ravaging communities that are already living with tremendous disadvantages. And it’s taking some of our oldest, wisest, and most talented citizens away from us. But for just a minute, let’s think about a few good things that might result, despite all this suffering. In fact, we might see a few health benefits from this pandemic.

Bear with us.

More Cooking

Yes, that’s right. People are getting closer to their food right now. Baking bread has suddenly become an obsession. Flour and yeast are flying from grocery shelves. To fill the gap, restaurants will sell you a pound of flour to go with your take-out order. Adaptation is the name of the game.

Even more interesting is the report that the pandemic is reversing a 50-year trend away from cooking at home. In fact, a new survey of self-reported food habits suggests that people are not only baking bread, but they’re also cooking more and enjoying it more.

True, some people are leaning on comfort foods that might not be the healthiest choices day in and day out. But there’s nothing wrong with finding comfort in familiar foods. And furthermore, 39 percent of respondents report that they’re eating healthier than ever.

We take all of this with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, it’s a bright spot in the news that we welcome. If food habits are improving for some, we’ll add that to a list of potential pandemic health benefits.

Cooped Up?

Honestly, this is another good news/bad news thing. Feeling confined to home can work on one’s mental health. But a great antidote is to get out and walk. We’re seeing families out walking together in numbers we’ve never seen before. Traffic is way down and big cities are closing streets to make room for more people walking with plenty of distance between them. Our own step counts are up by 50 percent.

Though mass shootings overall have not waned in the pandemic, this March is the first since 2002 that passed without a single school shooting. That’s not nothing.

Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic is taking quite a toll on our health. Nonetheless, it’s worth looking for any health benefits we can find as this pandemic grinds on. Every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity for learning.

Click here and here for further perspective.

Cooking with Dot, photograph © Alan Davey / flickr

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April 19, 2020

One Response to “Finding Health Benefits in a Pandemic”

  1. April 19, 2020 at 9:56 am, Allen Browne said:

    Yup and “Every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity for learning.”

    Have a good day and stay well.