Categories
Behaviour Health

A gentleman’s guide to the Corona (COVID-19) pandemic

Yes, there is etiquette concerning everything. Even the current corona virus pandemic. And no, it’s not complicated. As always, it’s based on two very simple concepts; common sense and respect for others. It’s actually quite simple, and can be summed up in one sentence.

Take precautions not to spread the corona virus

Pretty reasonable, right? If you do what you can to not spread the virus, you are using both common sense and you are showing respect for others. You could also, potentially, save hundreds of lives. If you spread the virus to a few people, and they spread it to a few more, it quickly escalates, so just stopping one person from spreading the virus – yourself – you can potentially save hundreds of others from dying.

Which precautions should I take?

This is not going to be a list of new things. The science – while not 100% conclusive on everything – is quite clear. It’s basically as simple as physically distancing yourself from others, washing your hands and wearing a face mask. That’s basically it. You should also follow the regulations and recommendations that apply where you live.

Physical distancing

This is by far the most effective measure you can do. The virus can’t spread if you are not somewhat near other people. The rules that apply where you live might differ between 1m (3′) to 2m (6′). But understand that there isn’t a certain cutoff distance. Depending on circumstances such as wind, humidity, if you cough or sneeze, the virus can potentially travel up to tens of meters.

The local mandated minimum is just that. The minimum distance that will prevent you from getting fined.

But try to keep as much difference as possible. As distance goes up, the risk goes down.

If you can work from home, do it. Don’t visit older relatives. Try to limit the amount of people you hang out with as much as possible – but there is no need to hang out with the ones you do less often.

Wash your hands

This really shouldn’t have to be stated. Washing your hands regularly and thouroughly with soap should be part of your personal hygiene habits as a gentleman.

After bathroom breaks. Before eating or handling food or drinks. After returning from outside. Etc.

Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. While washing your hands thoroughly with soap is actually more efficient than hand sanitizer, it’s not always possible or practical.

Use the same routine with hand sanitizer as with soap. Make sure to get it all over your hands, and rub it for 20 seconds. If not, some viruses could survive.

Just wear that damn face mask

Yes, they are sweaty. Inconvenient. Will fog up glasses or shades. Deal with it. If you are in public, wear it.

Some people might think that wearing a face mask is a sign of fear. It doesn’t have to be. Remember, wearing a face mask doesn’t primarily help you from being infected. It protects the people around you, for instance if you sneeze or cough. It’s not a sign of fear, it’s a sign of caring.

By wearing a mask, you show that you are willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience for the safety of everyone. A pretty different thing from fear.

While the science is not fully clear on the efficiency of face masks yet, we are slowly learning. It seems that if everyone is wearing a face mask, the risk of spreading the virus goes down by somewhere between 20-80%. Most likely, this seems to be around 60%.

That might not seem like much, but it can make a big difference. If you are in an area where the curves are still going up, that 60% could be the difference between increasing or decreasing the spread.

And if you are living in an area where the spread is already on a decline, it could make the decline more rapid.

Basically, the more people wear masks, the less people will get sick and die. And it also means that the area where you live can open up more and faster, so that we can all more or less go back to our lives.

Categories
Gastronomy Health Values

Meat, less meat or no meat?

There is a great debate currently going on, whether you should eat meat, reduce the amount of meat you eat (“flexetarian”), go vegetarian or completely vegan, for the climate and for your health. But should you?

The facts

There are two main arguments to eating less meat. The impact on climate and the impact on your health. So let’s dissect these arguments.

The carbon footprint of meat and dairy

Food accounts for 10%-30% of a household’s income. Typically, this figure is higher in lower-income households.

Out of that, meats account for approximately 57% and Dairy 18%.

Not all meats are created equal

While the carbon dioxide release for beef is almost 7 pounds per serving, and Legumes generate only 0.11 pounds per serving, switching from beef to pork (1.72 pounds per serving) or chicken (1.26 pounds per serving) will have a greater impact on your carbon footprint than switching from chicken to legumes.

This means that there are some carbon footprint savings that you could do by switching from beef or eating less meat.

On the whole, though, agriculture only accounts for about 8% of all carbon emmissions, so the savings are limited. Transportation, Energy and Manufacturing account for 70%, so it might be better to stop buying useless crap from China on Wish than to ditch that cheeseburger.

Source: University of Michigan

The impact of meat on your health

There are both benefits and risks of switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet. The benefits include slightly less risk of cardiac events and cancer in vegetarians, but the science is still unclear, and the links are weak.

At the same time, if not managing their diet properly, especially vegans can risk getting insufficient amounts of vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc and Omega-3. While rare, if the diet is not managed, there is also a slight risk of protein deficiency.

In other words, the research is unclear, but there might be a link between eating less meat and better health.

Source: Harvard

Is it immoral to eat meat?

Morality is a complex issue, and there are philosophical arguments both ways.

One thing that seems to be nearly universal, though, is that causing unnecessary suffering in animals is wrong. From that, one could draw the conclusion that if choosing to eat meat, it’s better to opt for free ranged and/or organic meat than factory farmed.

It also tends to taste better anyway.

You decide

Ultimately, you decide your own diet. You have to weigh the risks, benefits and ethical issues.

The important thing, though is that the choice is personal. Whether you decide to eat meat, become a flexetarian, vegetarian or vegan, it is a personal choice, and it doesn’t make you morally superior to anyone else, so live and let live, and let everyone else make their choices as well.

Enjoy your meal!