As if we didn’t have enough to be concerned about! TheAtlantic.com reports that cases of myopia, nearsightedness, are on the rise. 1.6 billion people worldwide have the condition. By 2020 it’s predicted that one in three people will be myopic.
In response, we propose the creation of the First Annual Myopia Awareness Season commencing the final day of school and slowly fading away sometime mid-September. To combat this growing trend (especially in children), we recommend the following therapies:
Derma / Soil Compress – This involves daily applications of dirt to the skin. Any kind of dirt will do. It can be the rich humus that stains the palms and gets under the fingernails when gardening. Or it could be the dirt that sticks to the faces of sweaty children playing outside. A daily dose of dirt on the skin will slow the onset of myopia.
Foot / Pedal Exercise – Regular application of one’s feet on bicycle pedals is also a useful preventative. Stationary bikes do not count. Neighborhood streets will do. But the best results come from country roads and bike trails where one can feel the air rushing past as the smell of fields and woodlands permeates the surroundings, and creatures scurry at the surprise of approaching wheels.
Hydro-Therapy – Also know as the “Go Jump in the Lake” cure. Any body of water will do, but the concrete and chlorine of a swimming pool does not provide the depth of relief that the smells, sounds, and unexpected encounters with the frogs and fish in lakes, rivers and ponds do. The muck between one’s toes alone makes this therapy worthwhile.
Myopia affects the eyeball; this physical ailment is spreading because more and more time is spent staring at screens of one type or another. The “therapies” listed here will get us out of the house where our eyes can constantly shift focus from insects hovering near-by to the sunset on the horizon.
Excessive screen time may result in a more insidious type of myopia that infects the very core of our being i.e. an underdeveloped relationship with the natural world. What better way to instill the far-sighted wisdom necessary for stewardship of the environment than to commit to “no child left indoors” this summer with children of all ages. A deep appreciation of the natural world benefits us all because this is our only home. We are forever…Earthbound.