Readers’ letters - November 2

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We need to get smart

with our smartphones

A few weeks ago I was having a haircut and noticed, during that 10-minute period, the young barber must have paused to check his phone updates at least five times.

The young barber is an amateur guitarist who said he wanted to improve his music skills but finds little time to practise due to working and travelling every day. I asked him how many hours or minutes a day does he spend looking at his phone? He replied: “That’s a very good question”. I asked could he sacrifice 30 minutes a day away from his ‘digital social media life’ to find time to practise his guitar scales and arpeggios? He was honest and said, without the social media activity in his life, he could easily find at least an hour a day to improve his guitar technique.

Social media sites are a powerful tool for networking and updates amongst friends and relatives. Equally, I think too much of this online communication craze can be detrimental, especially to young people. It’s staggering to think how many hours a week can be spent looking at social media.

Is society losing the etiquette or the ability to hold face-to-face conversations? How many people do you see walking in the street preoccupied with their phones? Can you imagine how difficult it would be for some young people today to actually spend a week without the use of the internet?

I suspect the overdosing of social media has contributed to the increasing levels of obesity. Those born and raised in a generation experiencing the growth of the internet will not remember the good old days of regularly meeting and greeting people. Young people should be encouraged to be ‘smart with their smart phones’. To maintain good physical and mental health in modern society, people should be encouraged to find rewarding hobbies, such as sports, music and creative activities.

Stephen Pierre

via email

Jabs for people with diabetes

As flu season approaches, Diabetes UK is recommending that people with diabetes take up the offer of a free flu jab from their GP.

It is essential everyone with diabetes has the flu jab this winter. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of the flu and this can lead to more severe illnesses, such as pneumonia.

Current figures show almost a quarter (24 per cent) of people with diabetes did not have a flu vaccination in England last winter, despite it being free to everyone with the condition.

The flu jab is one of 15 healthcare essentials that every person with diabetes is entitled to through the NHS every year. These include having your blood pressure measured, having your eyes screened for signs of retinopathy and having your feet and legs checked.

Each year the NHS prepares for the unpredictability of the flu as the influenza virus can change rapidly year-on-year.

They recommend that

everyone who is eligible for the flu jab gets vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid getting the illness.

Illnesses like the flu are serious for people with diabetes, so if you have diabetes, please ensure that you take up the offer of the free flu jab and if you have any concerns about receiving the vaccination, speak to your GP or healthcare professional.

Diabetes UK has also put together a guide to help people with diabetes avoid the flu, as part of Public Health England’s Stay Well This Winter Campaign.

For more information about diabetes and flu, please visit our website

Stephen Ryan

Head of the North

iabetes UK

Don’t kick issue

in long grass

Ticks love long grass and climb to the peak of the stems to find a host.

The result of a tick invading your body space is, or can be, Lyme disease.

This disease is hard to diagnose and is rare but is happening on a more frequent basis.

It can cause life-changing problems and death at the late stages in the disease.

I strongly suggest that we trim our estate grasses to prevent this devastating malady.

Robert Allen

Address supplied