After nearly two years of living under threat, it is clear the impact of chronic stress


Does the nation suffer from chronic stress?

As we know, the onset of the pandemic has undoubtedly led to a feeling of stress and worry for most people across the world. From a physical and biological point of view, the sudden threat of Covid-19 has induced episodes of sudden or acute stress among populations.

This is more commonly known as the fight or flight response.

It is well established that during the fight-or-flight response, the human body releases a hormone called cortisol, which plays an important role in helping us overcome sudden and short-term threats and moments of danger.

Typically, sudden or acute stress is short lived, and once we feel safe again, cortisol levels begin to drop and our bodies can then begin the journey to return to a more normal and higher state. healthy.

While cortisol is beneficial in the short term, too much cortisol on an ongoing basis can increase our risk for poor health and put pressure on the rest of our internal systems, such as our cardiovascular and digestive systems, and can also have a significant impact on our mental health.

The pursuit of a threat or danger can also force the body into a more chronic or prolonged state of stress, and once in this state, the body is continually drip-fed with cortisol, the same way a leaky faucet runs water.

After nearly two years of continued threat or danger, I think it may be fair to suggest that many people already feel chronically stressed or may be heading in this direction.

I believe we should try to start a new conversation about chronic stress and start to recognize its potential negative impact on our lives.

Alison delahunt

Lucan, County Dublin

Farmers need more climate advice

WE heard a lot from world leaders and experts at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

The main outcome was to meet again next year to consider climate change at the time. In the meantime, Irish farmers are very worried about farming and have no major directions for their future, in an industry that employs more than a quarter of a million people on the farm alone, and produces food. of the best quality. in the world.

Some rough statistics on climate change may be helpful.

Ireland produces around 0.1 pc of the greenhouse gases in the world. It is a thousandth of world production. Agricultural activities are responsible for just over a third of this, with the remaining two thirds attributed to industry, fossil fuel combustion, transportation and other causes.

China produces about 30% of the world’s greenhouse gases, the United States about 15%, followed by India, Russia and Japan.

If Ireland ceased agricultural activities next year, the effect on global climate change would be almost negligible.

While better farm management to play our role in controlling harmful emissions would be welcome, it should not unduly disrupt our agricultural sector or cause undue stress to farm families and should be commensurate with the climate change that may be occurring. achieved.

Pierre Tiernan

Strandhill, Sligo

Partition is an obstacle to building an open society

THE Brexit fiasco and the denial of various rights in the North, which are taken for granted across Western Europe, have once again revealed that a divided island does not meet the needs of our people in 2021.

Partition is a major obstacle to building a modern, open and forward-looking society with a dynamic economy.

Irish unity is once again at the center of political discussions.

A referendum on a united Ireland is a key provision of the Good Friday Agreement.

We are entering a defining period in Irish political history.

There is a lively and growing conversation going on about Irish unity and the need to start planning for constitutional change and what a new Ireland would look like.

It is vital that the Irish government begins to take responsibility in leading this discussion. He must now start planning for future constitutional changes.

In my opinion, the most important first step to take is to create a citizens’ assembly to discuss what a united Ireland could look like and how best to handle a smooth transition.

Tony Mc Darby

Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

No level playing field when it comes to restrictions

Far be it from me to criticize the logic that would seem to come from the administrative corridors of power that govern the state, but I would ask to express what I would consider an anomaly from a certain perspective in light of a relaxation of restrictions.

Social opportunities are essential. Many find attending GAA games, locally or at Croke Park, a much needed antidote during the pandemic.

Likewise, others frequent the Aviva Stadium for rugby matches and local clubs. It is an outlet for these people.

Nightclubs can also provide some sort of liberation to those who frequent them.

Although attending games is an outdoor affair, it seems to me that no matter where I am, how close people are to each other, they can scream and bellow at the top of their lungs no matter where their droplets will venture.

I imagine in a nightclub people could be so close to each other and scream to want to be heard that if they were closer they would practically be on top of each other.

And who knows where the droplets end.

My current understanding is that one cannot venture into these things unless one is vaccinated, but that does not guarantee that one does not spread the virus.

What strikes me as a little pitiful would be that despite all the measures put in place, I could not raise my voice to sing in church.

In a game, I can cry out to my heart’s content – even away from home; in a nightclub, I probably even shout to make myself heard; but while I attend morning prayers – where social distances are respected, masks deployed, disinfectants bloom and only one in two or three is available – the powers that be tell me I cannot sing for the Almighty.

Maybe at this time of this generation more than ever, we shouldn’t be singing for God – or, for Jesus; should we not all the more sing and sing our praises to God in worship?

Maybe now more than ever, should we not raise our voices – even in a hymn or a hymn, as they would in other places, but sing to Him who can intercede?

I would welcome the easing of restrictions, but it seems to me that we are not all on equal footing.

Marcus Crothers Fitz-Gerald

Ardfert, County Kerry

A united Ireland would be expensive

DOMINIC Shelmerdine (Letters, November 26) tells us that before reunification, a joint North and South referendum should be held simultaneously to settle the issue, giving the impression that this is his opinion.

Holding a joint referendum in the North and in the Republic is a legal requirement of the Good Friday Agreement.

Furthermore, a joint referendum can only be organized if the majority of the two jurisdictions thinks that a united Ireland would be a good idea. Opinion polls are generally a good way to survey public opinion.

The prospect of a united Ireland would be costly on both sides of the border.

For example, in the North, there is no road toll like there is in the Republic, and the NHS would cease to exist for the citizens of the North.

The North costs the British Exchequer £ 9 billion a year, which would translate into higher taxes and lower spending for the citizens of the South.

Kieran O’Regan

Dublin 9


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