Day by day, we’re shaping our post-pandemic realities by tentatively returning topre-lockdown habits or sticking with new behaviours we’ve discovered we prefer duringlockdown.
Still, for many South Africans, the main topic of conversation over the past few months has been our desire ‘to go back to normal’. But when our pre-COVID-19 reality wascharacterised by equally devastating issues like gender-based violence, environmental concerns like poaching and global warming and the generally poor state of physical healthof many South Africans, the longed for return to this so-called ‘normal’ feels misplaced.
Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our country, it has also given us anopportunity to think differently, and talk about re–imagining and rebuilding our country inbetter ways.
Arguably, the most important of these relate to our health, and the resilience of our immunesystems.October features National Nutrition and Obesity Week with its focus on thecountry’s nutrition habits and our continuing battle with obesity.The 2020 theme ‘Good nutrition for good immunity’ is a reminder that diet-related non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as obesity, have, across the world, seriouslyundermined many people’s defences to COVID-19.
Picking up on this idea of rebuilding a new, healthier normal is Africa’s leading health foodrestaurant chain, KAUAI, which has just launched its ‘Don’t go back to abnormal’conversation-starter campaign. In it, KAUAI asks South Africans to take an honest look atwhat was perceived as normal prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether they wouldlike to go back to this abnormal “normal”, or make a positive change going forward.
Setting up its billboards in the midst of the country’s fast-food valleys, KAUAI is provokingthought around the ways that we have normalised things that we know deep down aren’tserving us. Says Dean Kowarski, KAUAI CEO, “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’sthat we’re living in a world where our health cannot be taken for granted. Unfortunately,junk food laden with sugar and trans-fats, preservatives and additives has become alifestyle standard for many, and tragically, an aspiration for millions more. KAUAI is calling this out as abnormal.
For us, healthy eating is normal – enjoying fresh, natural, deliciouswholefoods with fruit and veggies that support your immune system and improve youroverall health. We feel so strongly about this, that KAUAI will be making the choice to eathealthy easier, by offering a once -off 50% discount to any South African during Octobervia our app.”#DontGoBackToAbnormal is a platform for South Africans to start conversations that
matter. What is really good for us, and worth taking forward? What is not serving us andshould be leftbehind ?Says Kowarski, “KAUAI is calling out bad eating habits asabnormal, but we want this campaign to spark different broader conversations aboutother abnormal situations that South Africans have accepted as normal in their everydaylives.
We want to challenge South Africans to reflect on what they think is abnormal andwhat they would like to change going forward.” It’s true that we are creatures of habit; butwe can also pivot quickly when it comes to making new, better habits. What do you thinkis abnormal, and what do you want to change going forward?
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