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And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [Genesis 2:7].

As the corona virus COVID-19 threatens the world`s populations, we pause to consider that this deadly disease is largely about the importance of breath and, by it, the sanctity of life. Those who succumb to the disease`s grip either choke to death, perhaps feeling as though something is strangling them and/or drown as a result of pneumonia. We acknowledge the seriousness of what many patients are experiencing in order to inspire appreciation for each breath that we take on our own: We are grateful for the strength of our lungs and health of our respiratory system; their function and design are truly awesome, when they’re working according to their purpose. Most of us don`t even think about breathing—it just happens… or so it seems. The biological science underpinning our lung function is intricate, yet beautifully simple enough for us to benefit.

Fun Facts:  A person’s lungs are not the same size. The right lung is a little wider than the left lung, but it is also shorter. According to York University, the right lung is shorter because it has to make room for the liver, which is right beneath it. The left lung is narrower because it must make room for the heart.

Here are some interesting ways in which breath affects are lives:

  • Many of us who feel cooped up inside as we practice social distancing, are wandering out to get fresh air.
  • Those of us who are botanically inclined seek plants which have air purifying abilities for the very homes that now provide us a measure of safety from this deadly virus.
  • Conservationists seek to protect our rain forests which are often called the lungs of the planet: The millions and millions of trees in Earth’s rain forests take in huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce much of the oxygen humans and animals depend on. Without them, there would be less air to breathe!
  • The gifting of the world’s greatest singers and wind instrument musicians is largely dependent on their mastery of breath.
  • Doctors around the world are currently grappling with the critical question of who will be attached to ventilators, and who won’t if the coronavirus pandemic causes a shortage of these potentially life-saving machines.

The bottom line: Breathing is an important life function!

Regardless of your faith or beliefs, we encourage you to be thankful for the breath that is in your lungs. If you are not struggling to breathe and do not need the assistance of a ventilator or other machine, be thankful. We can show our appreciation by supporting our first responders as well as our essential services who are risking their own lives and comfort for our collective well-being. As examples, consider these appreciation stories [ ;; ].

You may also wish to support these organizations:

The Lung Association is the leading organization in Canada working to promote lung health and prevent and manage lung disease. They do this by funding vital research, pushing for improved treatments, smarter policies, or supporting patients in managing their health.

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. Their work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future.

Finally, you can contact the above organizations and/or your local hospital to inquire how you can make donations towards the purchase of ventilators or the area of greatest need.


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