One of the ‘distractions’ in my normal life which supports mental health, is Saturday football; it surprises me how much I miss the, often puerile, radio chatter and the games.
This piece by the FTs Simon Kuper is called: ‘It’s harder to stay sane without sport’: ‘For some, the only community they had’.———————————–
A team led by Martin Oetting, is making a film about Wellbeing Economies; here Oetting
summaries his recent conversation with Katherine Trebeck, including her thoughts on the current crisis. She refers to our renewed awareness of the ‘foundational’ economy – schools, hospitals, supermarkets, the bin men.
In Nov 2018, rapporteur to the UN, Philip Alston, delivered a
devastating report on Austerity Britain, saying that increasing levels of poverty was a deliberate Tory choice. Alston’s focus on the very poorest in society merits our attention; this week he called the UK Govt’s response to coronavirus ‘ utterly hypocritical’.
Boris Johnson’s waffling is totally exposed by this crisis – but Patrick Cockburn of the Independent thinks that his cheeky ‘
wounded in action’ persona may yet save him: ‘He plugs into the traditional English sympathy for the lovable rogue – with an engaging personality and very human faults’.
Atul Gawande’s important book about the end of life, ‘Being Mortal’, has continuing influence; here he prioritises the importance of ‘autonomy’ in the ‘quality of life’ of the elderly. This is the simple ‘vision’ of an old woman Jessie who had suffered a stroke.
“She wanted a small place with a little kitchen and a bathroom. It would have her favourite things in it, including her cat, the unfinished projects, her Vicks VapoRub, a coffee-pot, and cigarettes. There would be people to help her with the things she couldn’t do without help. In the imaginary place, she would be able to lock her door, control her heat, and have her own furniture. No one would make her get up, turn off her favourite TV soaps, or ruin her clothes. She would be Jessie again, a person living in as apartment, instead of a patient in bed”.