Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Changing Lives By Georgie Spurgeon

Times were hard. No one could have expected how hard. Everyone had to shoulder the blame and help. No exceptions.

When supplies had been cut off abruptly, the government took drastic measures: rationing. A few remembered rationing being talked about when they were children. Somehow people had managed to get chocolate and other treats then. Now there were no treats; no sweets and no alcohol. Plain fresh food, mainly grown in their municipality, was all they had. It was permitted to trade a few items with neighbouring municipalities.

At first the government had allowed stocks of treats and convenience foods to be used up. To keep people in work, food producers continued to prepare ready-made meals but there were strict guidelines on portion size and everyone said how meagre the meals were compared to the time before it all happened. Soon all the plastic and foil cartons were used up and food suppliers had to sell people the raw ingredients to make their own meals. Nowadays people grew their own and threw nothing away. Neighbours exchanged produce when there was a surplus. People saw the food that was being grown and healthy crops were produced without pesticides. Everyone cared for the farm animals that were treated with dignity but not with hormones.

The population ate food in season – meats, fruits and vegetables could be preserved or pickled for leaner times. The country’s stock of fridges and freezers had dwindled and were not being replaced. The ever decreasing number of motor vehicles and fuel rationing also helped to reduce the carbon footprint. Bicycles were a popular form of transport again and children were no longer taxied to schools in “people carriers”. Workers had more leisure time as they found jobs closer to home and had fewer days off sick with stress and RSI. Technology had ceased to be the main form of communication. People spoke to each other again.

The government kept a watchful eye on attendance at GP surgeries and hospitals. Surprisingly, fewer people sought medical help and the NHS budget was healthy for the first time in years. Doctors and nurses were less stressed and spent more time with patients and finding holistic solutions to people’s problems. The use of pharmaceuticals plummeted and people lived longer and healthier lives without the side effects of medicines. Age old remedies and therapies found their respect with the medical profession again. People didn’t need to resort to smoking, drugs and alcohol.

At first, public health officials were mystified with the sudden drop in the incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia. They were proud to announce that record levels of obesity had now been eradicated and families were leading healthy and happy lives again. Mental health problems gradually reduced as people experienced more wellbeing and feel good factors of growing up and growing old.

The people liked their new life and times. Rationing had been the best thing since sliced bread. A few people remembered sliced bread, when Brexit meant Brexit.

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