As someone with chronic asthma, which actually means I’ve had it for years and not that I am attached to a ventilator 24/7, I was not surprised to learn I’m in the high risk group for Covid-19. I wasn’t all that pleased, either, because of the effects any health threats have on my mental health. But something strange has happened in recent days. My asthma appears to be improving.
Usually, it improves when I am abroad, whilst I amgrilling gently under the sun and breathing in all that lovely sea air. I have no problems in the countryside in England or at the sea side. In recent years, I have concluded that air pollution must be playing a part.
A couple of years ago, on a hot summer night, I went to see Graham Nash in concert at St George’s Hall, just off Park Street. By the time I arrived at the venue, I could barely breathe at all. It was a really bad attack and I wondered if it was down, at least in part, to the fume-filled still air around the Bristol City Centre.
As the country prepares to shut down in preparation for the very serious rise in cases, there is less traffic around. We went for a nice long walk today and I didn’t struggle at all. I’ve needed my inhalers when really exerting myself this winter but today was absolutely fine. Maybe there’s a lesson, here?
We know that carbon emissions are killing the planet and we know that they’re killing a lot of the planet’s people along the way. If in the UK, as in China, pollution levels are down because of our near lockdown, we might finally embrace the need for major changes to all our lives. Then at least something good might come out of something very bad.