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We’ve got time now to slow down. We’ve got time to spend with our families and our loved ones. We’ve got time to stop and we’ve got time to reflect. So in that time, let’s actually think about life in general. And I want us to use the term ‘the new normal’. I don’t want any of us to be thinking about going back to normal, because quite frankly, what was normal is not sustainable in any way.


“We need to talk about a new normal, and that new normal needs to be so much better than the normal that we used to have.”


In our PreKure community, we realised that for the last 40 years, we’ve been doing an uncontrolled experiment with the diet of the world’s population. And that diet, that experiment, has been an abysmal failure. But if you think about it more widely in a lifestyle context, we’ve been doing the same thing with the resources of the planet and that is in no way sustainable.

I think the thing we need to reflect on is the difference between needs and wants. What’s become quite apparent recently is that what we need is a very, very small proportion of what we need and want. If you look at essential services they’re pretty minimal compared with what we thought was essential beforehand. So let’s reflect on what is really essential and let’s not go back to satisfying all our wants because that’s just using up far too many resources and it’s not sustainable.

Let’s look at things like the traffic on Auckland motorways – what a massive problem that was before and it’s no longer a problem. The new normal should be working from home as much as possible. Imagine one day a week going into the office and having the meetings that you need to have and the other four days a week working from home. Already, you’ve solved the congestion on Auckland motorways, and going to work would actually be a pleasure.

And conferences. We all fly to the other side of the world to sit together in a room to listen to a speaker. We’ve proven just in the last little time that technology allows us to have conferences remotely.


“The idea of using up carbon miles to fly to the other side of the world – that largely needs to be a thing of the past.”


Congratulations to PreKure. You have a complete online health coaching course. You’ve already proven that education can be online. We need to think about the whole concept of universities. Does everybody need to be there for 40 weeks of the year, clustered together?

In my business, in medicine, face-to-face consultations used to be the normal, and we’ve just proven that we can do most of our consultations virtually, either on the telephone or over a Skype connection. So going back to normal for us, I hope is not going to be going back to every consultation, being face-to-face, because it’s not necessary.

The big thing I really want us to think about is the conflict between our capitalist economic models and the health of the environment. We need to look at our capitalist model and it can’t be in conflict with the environment. What I fear is that when we go back to the new normal, we’re just going to start pumping out the greenhouse gases like we were before, and that’s not sustainable.

If you go back to 2008 and 2009 after the financial crisis, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 5% when production increased again. There’s a concept called ‘revenge pollution’. The idea being that we pollute the environment so much more because we’re trying to catch up economically. That just can’t happen.


“The new normal cannot be what it was before. We are not returning to normal.”


Use this time as a time for reflection, a time for thinking, a time for discussing topics like this. Particularly looking at the difference between needs and wants and making sure that we’re moving more towards just satisfying needs and not our wants.

In primary care, we’re defining what our new normal will look like. We’ve been doing the consultations we need to online, and it seems to be working fine.

Stay well, everyone, and be kind to each other.