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Going into battle to Make Every Poppy Count and support research into ME/CFS and Long-Covid

Make Every Poppy Count AND support research into ME/CFS and Long Covid by buying a Poppy Face Covering

As a generation or two –  a lot of us in the UK haven’t been through the experience of war and the subsequent consequences.  We’re a lucky generation – spoilt perhaps.  Blessed.  

However we’re a generation that’s going through a pandemic.  Historically others have been through a pandemic.  But this is a pandemic where we have daily updates, global information,  21st Century medical care and big data.  Some consider this pandemic our generation’s version of a war.  Is it? 

We don’t have rations – although we did struggle to get those online supermarket slots and were limited from stockpiling.  We don’t have gas masks and hard hats – although we have Face Shields and Face Coverings and hand sanitiser at hand. 

Speaking to people from the generation who lived through a war – this pandemic experience is different.  The biggest gripe is the loss of personal freedom.  I think we can all empathise with that.

With war the pain was sharp.  The terror as the alarms went, the fear as the planes flew over, the anticipation of bombs exploding.  Then the quiet afterwards.  Emerging from shelter – the experience was physical.  You could see, hear and smell the results.  My childrens’ great-grandmother recounted the morning after a bombing in Sheffield.  She and her best friend walked miles and saw the destruction, the smouldering embers and her Uncle’s haberdashery shop – destroyed.  Everything gone.  The impact of war was in your face – you woke up and saw it day to day.  But – you had your personal freedom.  The alarms warned you, the planes scared you, the bombs shook you – yes they took away your personal freedom.  But the next morning – if you were alive, you could go and see and feel the damage.  If you were lucky to be alive the next morning – you had some personal freedom (until the next raid). 

With this pandemic – things aren’t as sharp or acute.  The physical manifestation of this war with Covid-19 is hidden to many of us. It’s being fought in the hospitals, care homes and laboratories or at home if you’ve got it.  Away from our eyes and our senses.  Without this – we rely on the news, our social media feeds and whatsapp groups to experience this war.  The terror, fear and anticipation  – we can’t hear or see it physically.  For many of us – there’s no morning after where we emerge thankful we’re alive whilst taking in the consequences.  We can’t visualise this enemy who is taking away our personal freedom.  It’s a sustained period constricting our personal freedom.  Much of this war is a mental battle.  Much of this war is virtually experienced rather than physically experienced.  I’m thankful I’ve not had to make life/death decisions like the healthcare and social care workers.  I’ve not had to deal with that in addition to the mental battle we are all facing.  

We’re also starting to see consequences of the pandemic with Long-Covid and research into this area. ME and Long-Covid share a lot of the same symptoms. (Thank goodness NICE is cautioning against GET (Graded Exercise Therapy) for those suffering with Long-Covid / Post-Covid – ironically it’s taken a pandemic for NICE to caution against GET vs. years of campaigning by those suffering with ME/CFS).

With the war we had front-line workers, key workers – fighting the war.  Off they went – some never returned.  Others returned – damaged.  You could see the physical scars (although the mental scars remained hidden). 

With this pandemic we have front-line workers, key workers – fighting the pandemic.  But most of them day in, day out return home.  Life continues – the fear, despair, anticipation.  Less physical scars (but with potential mental scars hidden). 

With the war – afterwards we looked after and paid respect to those front-line workers. Those who went into batlle.

With this pandemic – how will we act to look after and pay respect to those front-line workers who have been at the coal face? 

With the war – we have the Royal British Legion.  The poppies synonymous with remembering and fundraising for the front line workers.

With this pandemic – what will we have?  The rainbows?  Will we remember? 

What will be the legacy for the NHS and the front-line workers?

With this all in mind – I’ve chosen to make and sell Poppy-inspired Face Coverings to raise funds for both the ME Association and the Royal British Legion.  

Yes – Every Poppy Counts. But will you remember to make Every Rainbow Count, the NHS and our Front Line workers in the future when we emerge?

Buy a Poppy Face Covering here!

Poppy Black 1

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Why buy these Face Coverings?

Firstly because they’re in aid of research into ME which is a really poorly misunderstood disease – I mean I sort of believed it was an illness of sorts but get some rest, de-stress a bit and you’ll be get better right?! Ummm … no. Three years later and at least I’m no longer housebound but it’s slow progress (especially for someone who was never that particularly patient!).

Secondly – these are more sustainable than single use face coverings/face masks. They’re washable, re-usable and supporting a good cause and potentially helping us move into a ‘new normal’ as we move out of lockdown.

“If every person in the UK used one single-use face mask each day for a year, it would create 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste, the report warns, and ten times more climate change impact than using reusable masks”

UCL, Plastic Waste Innovation Hub

And thirdly – well if you’ve read this far then you’ll now have some awareness of what ME/CFS is and that’s cool!

Buy here!

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You’ll need one to Uber …

Face coverings – are they going to become the new norm? You’ll now need one to get an Uber or an Addison Lee – phone, keys, face covering – check!

Well in SE Asia – they’ve adapted and are wearing them whenever they go out. Pre- Corona landing here – I remember Feb half term when we had relatives texting from Hong Kong asking for supplies. And then when it hit here – they texted asking us if we needed supplies.
It does feel weird wearing one as we’re not used to it. But what’s the harm? If you’re asymptomatic you’re not spreading the germs further and it does provide some sort of protection for you. More importantly, I feel it helps you remember to do things differently – changing your behaviour. If you wear one when you’re out – you’re more likely to remember to physically distance and try not to touch your mouth and nose as much.

Will there be fashions? Christmas versions? Back to school versions? Designer ones?

But let’s be sustainable and use re-usable ones where possible. Let’s save the hard core face masks for those on the front line.
Even better – let’s be sustainable with washable and reuable face coverings and support fundraising at the same time.
Order here and I’ll see what I can do!