This could go many ways as many topics cover this opening line, however, after recent events I feel guided to write about this subject today.
With the sun and temperatures rising, and after being locked in for so long we feel we deserve to head off to the beach and space. Our own mental health needs this.
Hey, we are alive after all and live for today, and there is nothing wrong with this as long as we are responsible. I am referring to the beaches in the UK, but it's happening all over the world.
Sadly everyone has the same ideas, so these small places of tranquillity are packed.
We can live with this virus and by being respectful and responsible we can still have fun, I long to see my children, family and friends, but this just sadly keeps getting pushed further back due to the actions of others.
I know that by writing this it may spark some of your emotions and some of you and others may get prickly and defend and justify your decisions in taking families to the seaside for a day out.
I totally get it, we've been up into the mountains and to the shops, but sadly I see so many that are taking this situation lightly and being complacent already. Social distancing not being respected, not wearing a mask correctly and not being educated enough to know how to wear it correctly.
This is common sense in everything we do, yet sadly it's no longer on the curriculum in schools.
So because we've come through this first wave of the virus and we are ok, we must be immune, so the guard comes down and I've not had it so it's ok for me. This is the attitude that will cause the damage and unfortunately, it's the same for so many. I've not had it, so I believe, or been affected by it, but I could still pass it on to others if I'm a carrier of it. Who knows?
At a Hazmat Incident, we treat everything as the worst case and work back. We put on BA sets and Gas Tight suits so we are protected. It's called being sensible.
If in doubt, protect from the chemicals and then deal with it to render it safe.
So someone's dream of sitting on the beach getting fresh sea air, feeling the warm grains of sand between your toes and listening to children playing and the sound of gulls and waves is someone else's sad reality. But at what cost?
The reality of the tonnes of rubbish left behind, not just the odd fag end, we are talking about big items that can be clearly seen before walking off. Plastic bottle and cans, wrappers and anything else that can't possibly be mine as I wouldn't leave it there.
You carried it there, so carry it back and dispose of it correctly. It's not difficult.
How do you ever feel about walking on the beach barefoot now, let alone the effects it has on OUR environment. This is the sad reality that the attitude is widely spreading that it's someone's job to come along and clean it up after them.
This is what annoys me, the complete disregard for others and nature.
So how does this affect Mental Health?
For those seeking a moment to restore their own well being, the beach should be a place of open space and relaxation. A place for the mind to wander, to sit and contemplate your choices and struggles. To make time to sit and breathe. To re-energise your batteries to keep going.
How can you safely walk barefoot when it's full of other peoples rubbish.
Would you visit your friends and leave your empties in the living room?
I'm guessing not as you have respect for your friends.
What you may not see or even think to see is the heart-sinking feeling from the people who have to walk out daily and see this until it's cleaned up.
Ok maybe a little dramatic, I think not as if we cannot get the basics right then we are truly doomed as a species.
Let's go back a few weeks, people were clapping for the NHS and staff and all essential workers.
"Yeah let's a have another beer and clap every week," maybe made some of the idiots feel good. And I know many of you genuinely show your appreciation, I know from being in the Service where genuine thanks are few and far between and it often comes filtered down from Management and it feels like 'false praise', but when it's from the heart of the public, it means so much more.
The workers who have put themselves on the front line for so long deserve way more.
What I sadly see coming is yet more increase in deaths from this terrible virus.
Because so many are detached from reality, the numbers mean nothing to a huge majority.
Maybe the only way is for those who keep being irresponsible, is to get them to actually see and handle the vast numbers of dead alongside the professionals.
It's not pleasant and something that's not forgotten.
These figures are football stadium numbers. That's just way beyond my saturation point.
I thought about this the other day and stopped myself as stupidly I began counting the number of people I had lifted and handled, rescued and watch die. Yes, it's very real and I recall them all. So for the staff (bless them all,) doing this with huge numbers, my insignificant total making me feel saturated is barely touching the surface of what they are going through.
From talking to someone physically trapped in a car to releasing them and them dying in front of you because of the pressure of blood releasing, or another with the connection you made in reassuring the person that they would get out safely, with eye contact and calming words whilst for them, chaos is going on around them. To only find out later they passed away due to complications. To assisting the undertakers with bariatric patients. To pulling people from a river or a house fire. Trust me a dead body is heavy so you are in close to lift, this is a person and although no longer in its vessel, we treat with respect.
The list goes on.
And to family and friends funerals, which for me, the emotions cannot hold any more and I cry.
There is no shame in crying, it's an emotional release. It's not healthy to continue to suppress as it will affect your body somewhere. We are only human after all.
It's not just because of the funeral and who I am sorry to see go, it's also the numbers that have saturated my memory and emotions, that I have squashed down and hidden or laughed off.
It's all absorbed and taken in whether we like it or not.
It's not all lost, we just need everyone to start being considerate to others.
So for the uneducated masses, we have to start to educate.
People need to be accountable for their actions and words.
We have a choice still, so use it wisely.
Remember those who are hands-on dealing with the bodies of the deceased.
We owe it to them, ourselves and our children.
The NHS, essential workers deserves respect, as does our Planet.
It starts at home, respect for our hard-earned goods and food, respect for nature, and respect for each other.
Keep safe, respectful and responsible.