International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May every year to celebrate the contributions that nurses make to society.
I think everyone would agree that the last 18 months have made everyone better appreciate the hard and important work that nurses do. Many nurses have been working long hours under very difficult conditions, literally risking their lives on COVID wards.
It seems there is an international day for everything.
Well, today is World Tai Chi and Qigong day.
Tai Chi (also spelled Taiji) is a sequence of movements combining Qigong and Chinese martial arts, designed to improve physical and mental well-being. In China, it is common to see groups of people doing Taiji in the park.
Qigong (sometimes spelled Chi Kung) is the ancient Chinese study of energy or Qi. In particular, Qigong is a series of gentle movements designed to improve the Qi in your body. The low-impact and gentle movements are especially popular with older people.
Tied in with Qi is the concept of Yin and Yang, and trying to balance constantly-changing conditions. In Chinese Traditional Medicine, you have good health when the energy in your body is balanced and can flow easily through your body.
Coronavirus is still limiting activities at the moment, but there will be plenty of classes around when the world becomes more normal.
If you’re 70 or over or clinically extremely vulnerable and have not yet been contacted by the NHS, you can now book your own vaccine appointment at a nearby vaccination centre like The Francis Crick Institute or the Royal Free Hospital. To do that, go to nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination or call 119 for free. If you would prefer to have the vaccine at a GP surgery though, please still wait to be contacted.
Wherever you choose to go to have the vaccine, please be reassured that it will be a COVID-safe environment. This means extra precautions are in place to keep you safe including extra cleaning and disinfecting and social distancing in waiting areas.
If you don’t fall into one of these categories, the NHS will be in touch when you’re eligible to have the vaccine so please make sure you’re registered with a GP and that they have your most up-to-date contact details. This means they will be able to contact you when it’s your turn.
If you don’t fall into one of these categories but know someone who does – for example, a parent, friend or neighbour – please consider getting in touch with them to let them know that they can now book an appointment at a nearby vaccination centre.