Tsunami Aid?

Ocean Wave at Blue Hour

In the April 2020 issue of Scientific American, there was an excellent article entitled “The Aid Tsunami,” authored by Ajay Saini and Simron J. Singh on pages 59-65.

They discuss the catastrophic tsunami that that hit the Nicobar Islands (off the coast of Thailand) on December 26, 2004.

They discuss the devastation that affected the indigenous people and their villages.  They spoke about the massive humanitarian effort that ensued, with more that $14 billion dollars donated by both private and governmental benefactors. The relief effort seemed like an amazing pouring out of kindness by people.

However, it turns out that there would end up being a darker side to this.  The authors of this article were trying to convey several key ideas to the reader. One of these ideas centered around health. As the authors point out, “…benefactors inundated an essentially isolated society with packaged foods, a wide range of electronic and consumer goods, and enormous cash handouts.” Years later, with regards to the natives of the island, “…many of its members were beset by alcoholism, diabetes and other formerly alien ailments.”

They go on to state, “…over the years prolonged stress, sedentary lifestyles and a taste for processed foods had taken a toll. Previously unknown ailments such as hypertension appeared. The islands lack modern medical facilities, and most of the traditional healers — with their extensive knowledge of plant-based medicines — had perished during the tsunami. The Nicobarese began to die of heart attacks, diabetes, injuries, respiratory diseases, pneumonia, malaria and other diseases. Alcohol became a scourge as well.”

One of my take aways from this article reinforces ideas that I already feel strongly about. Specifically, that physical inactivity and poor diets will greatly increase the risks of developing many chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks.

However, there is very good news here. Similar to the tragic outcomes suffered by the Nicobarerse when their lifestyles were changed, the converse is also true. When unhealthy lifestyles are transformed into healthy ones, many of their associated disease conditions can be improved and even reversed. This is incredibly powerful information.

Not only is there power in this information, there is power in you. You have choices everyday.  Over time, the choices you make will determine your life.

In school I learned that one of the reasons it is important to study history is so that present day people can learn from the mistakes that were made by others in the past. I believe that we can all learn a valuable lesson from the Nicobarese.

Be Kind to You




Be kind to yourself.

Treat your body well.

In general, it is always best to take great care of yourself. Eat right, move your body, get adequate rest and take some time every day to be in silence. These are healthy habits to cultivate and maintain.

Although some of us, such as healthcare providers and other first responders may be much busier during the current pandemic, we must not forget to care for ourselves. Especially now, we should keep our bodies fit and our minds clear.

If it does seem difficult, then perhaps focusing on doing a single thing daily to care for ourselves is a good place to start.

Taking baby steps and being consistent is a great way to be healthy.

Humanity United



I love to be inspired.

And I can tell you that I have felt so much love over the past few weeks.

I am not surprised, yet still amazed by the number of people that have stepped up to help each other.

Local restaurants have donated food everyday, even twice a day, to the Emergency Department.

A friend of mine delivered food on a church bus to people’s homes.

Healthcare workers, hospital employees, first responders and employees of essential businesses are putting themselves in harm’s way each day they show up for a shift-to help and serve others.

People have been staying indoors and have put their lives on hold to protect each other.

This gives me hope for humanity. Although so much of what is broadcast by the media is violence, terrorism, greed and scandals, I know that we can be so much more. This pandemic has proven that. We are all one people-a global community. We stand together and care for each other. God bless!