Bishop’s Stortford Independent Parkinality columnist Julie Walker on why the Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 the year of the Hokey Cokey

Parkinality columnist Julie Walker, of Bishop’s Stortford, writes not about parking, but about living with

Parkinality columnist Julie Walker, of Bishop’s Stortford, writes not about parking, but about living with Parkinson’s ailment in her 50s…

2020 has been the 12 months of the Hokey Cokey (bear with me).

The full world, at numerous instances, has been instructed to be possibly ‘in’ or ‘out’. While I imagine that people today with Parkinson’s ailment (PD) have been the only kinds to genuinely enter into the spirit of factors by really ‘shaking it all about’.

Covid-19 has brought about so lots of cancellations and restrictions that, for lots of of us, our finest accomplishment this 12 months has been booking a grocery store time slot. Even so, I have managed to pick out a own spotlight, problem and lowlight from 2020.


No highlights – hairdressers shut. While thank you to Ian from Brookes hairdressing who came out to do an emergency haircut in the backyard in the summer season.


Hand washing. Washing hands is identical to strolling – each entail a concept originating in the brain becoming transmitted, working with dopamine, to the physique to go.

Regular viewers will know that for people today with PD the region of the brain which generates dopamine is dying.

My brain may possibly be stating ‘wash your hands now, wash them extensively, each sides and among your fingers’. Even so, when dopamine amounts are lower and signs or symptoms are kicking off, the concept from my brain to my hands is most likely to get misplaced.

Hand washing will become a true battle with my fingers progressively rigid. The extra I test, the extra pressured I get, the extra dopamine depletes and the less I am able to go.


Lockdown. The restrictions on going out have been tough for everyone. For me, personally, I see socialising as section of my ‘medical toolkit’. This isn’t just an justification to go to the pub, truthful.

Julie and associate Andy Johnson in the Star (43199268)

Pre Covid, when PD signs or symptoms commenced to kick off I would generally go out. From expertise, being in isn’t going to current lots of alternatives for dopamine production, having currently squeezed all the enjoyment out of vacuuming.

That is a joke. I never vacuum. On the other hand, even though I know that it will be a battle, going out typically has extra dopamine-developing alternatives.

Chatting with pals and laughter all make me pleased and sense constructive which can enable strengthen dopamine production, in switch cutting down PD signs or symptoms.

Hunting in advance to 2021, and putting corny jokes apart, my PD signs or symptoms have deteriorated throughout lockdown and life is starting to be progressively hard. I was struggling to come across positivity for the new 12 months when the PD Avengers website popped into my inbox.

The PD Avengers’ ultimate purpose is to finish Parkinson’s ailment. Encouraged to get motion by the e-book Ending Parkinson’s by four of the foremost Parkinson’s authorities in the world – Bas Bloem, PhD, MD, Michael S. Okun, MD, Ray Dorsey, MD and Todd Sherer, PhD – the PD Avengers are a worldwide alliance of people today with PD, companions and pals, standing collectively to need modify in how the ailment is observed and treated.

A person of their aims is to get a single million voices to sign up to grow to be PD Avengers and present their allegiance. Right after four months they’ve currently achieved 38 international locations.

A person of their procedures is to ‘think local, go global’. So, in the very same way as I produce this local newspaper column for the Indie in the Uk, by the electrical power of social media that a single local voice can achieve around the world.

You may possibly stay with Parkinson’s. I contain not only the man or woman identified with PD, but also their pals and spouse and children – there is extra than a single target. Or your only link with PD may possibly be studying this column. You should get a seem at their website and my brief video clip. If you would like to add oneself to the record, remember to join us at

PD Avengers (43199238)
PD Avengers (43199238)

I seem forward to 2021 with renewed enthusiasm that a single working day the world could be no cost of PD.

I want you great luck in creatively generating Christmas and seem forward to a extra constructive new 12 months.

Fingers crossed and keep risk-free.

P.S. Wouldn’t it be odd if the Hokey Cokey is seriously what it can be all about?