A good rule to live by is always stay skeptical of world days as substitutes or surrogates for action year-round, but not so skeptical that you underestimate a healthy reminder to effect change. World Emoji Day is July 17, but who’s arguing emojis don’t deserve year-round campaigns? World Tuna Day, May 2, crucial around the clock. And don’t get reporter Rebecca Leber started on Earth Day as little more than a “trite” blip on corporate calendars for PR stunts, she says in her scathing “I’m an Environmental Reporter and I Hate Earth Day.”
But some days are singularly beneficial, like World Health Day, sponsored yesterday by the World Health Organization. As the repercussions of the pandemic reverberate, health deserves a day. Every day. Take time if you can. Observe your health with three tips:
1. Consult a doctor before ingesting Recharge advice, but barring any reason not to, get yourself vitamin D if you’re sunlessly indoors. Just don’t buy the myth that it prevents or mitigates COVID-19, put to rest by Harvard Health’s senior faculty editor Dr. Robert Shmerling, who reported Monday that a “randomized controlled study of people with moderate to severe COVID-19 who received a high dose of vitamin D showed no benefit” in recovery or risk reduction. But nutritional value persists.
2. Billie Holiday would have turned 106 yesterday. Here’s a recording that gets nowhere near the shares or airtime it deserves, from a rehearsal in 1956: “My Yiddishe Momme.” The baby in the background is her godchild Bevan Dufty, future member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and director of Bay Area Rapid Transit. Rejuvenation is health too. This brings it.
3. A clear mind doesn’t hurt, so let me settle a small debate: Your well-being is your wellbeing, no hyphen. Never mind the Los Angeles Times opinion writer who insisted weeks ago that everyone hyphenate well-being as “the correct form”: “Teenagers used to be teen-agers. Cellphones used to be cell phones. Email used to be e-mail. So it’s understandable that writers would start compressing well-being into wellbeing. In fact, I see it a lot. But the closed form isn’t in major dictionaries yet and, until it is, ‘well-being’ remains the correct form.’”
Sorry to break it to you, but I hereby announce, effective today, by the authority vested in me as Mother Jones’ copy wrangler, that “wellbeing” is closed up in our style guide, just for you. Begone, hyphen. Wellbeing is an intact concept and should be an intact word. But if hyphenating serves your individual, organizational, or reader health, go with it.
Bonus tip: Stop chewing gum. It’s mostly unhealthy, unless you don’t mind your genetic code dug up 5,700 years from now like this wad of gum from the Stone Age, whose chewer, scientists say, was a young Danish woman.
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