An Important Message About Self Care During The Pandemic

I live in the UK and on Sunday night our current leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was admitted to hospital after 10 days with worsening COVID-19 symptoms.

Until that point, his ministers and aides had been spreading the message that he was suffering only mild symptoms, continued to work from self-isolation and was expected to be able to return to work on Friday, two days before he was admitted.

This was an amazing opportunity to do just the opposite and set a great example to the country, and the world, of self care.

He could have self isolated, handed over most of his work to other aides and ministers, really rested and recuperated and checked himself into hospital sooner.

Early reports are now emerging showing that he may have even been advised to enter hospital on Thursday.

This is the culture we are living in, where working is prized more highly than health. But work can always be delegated and delayed, you cannot delegate your health to someone else.

The first things doctors always recommend when someone is ill is bed rest and fluids, it’s the medical equivalent of an IT help desk asking you to switch it off and on again.

I got ill myself last week, and when I realised that it was affecting my ability to work, I stopped working. Informed my boss and then reviewed my condition daily to decide if I was healthy enough to work again.

Work is stress people, work is effort, work is strain on the body. That’s why we get paid to do it.

I’m not buying into this culture of work over health, those of us who do are not helping, they’re continuing a problem that in this time, could be deadly.

I hope he gets better with bed rest and proper care, and I hope anyone reading this thinks about what I’ve said when they next become unwell. Remember, work can be delayed and delegated, health cannot. And get well soon!

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