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 Parkinson’s condition in her 50s…

2020 has been the calendar year of the Hokey Cokey (bear with me).

The full entire world, at many periods, has been instructed to be possibly ‘in’ or ‘out’. Whilst I imagine that men and women with Parkinson’s condition (PD) have been the only types to really enter into the spirit of items by in fact ‘shaking it all about’.

Covid-19 has triggered so a lot of cancellations and restrictions that, for a lot of of us, our greatest accomplishment this calendar year has been reserving a grocery store time slot. Even so, I have managed to select out a own spotlight, challenge and lowlight from 2020.


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


Hand washing. Washing arms is very similar to going for walks – both of those involve a information originating in the mind currently being transmitted, making use of dopamine, to the body to go.

Regular visitors will know that for men and women with PD the place of the mind which makes dopamine is dying.

My mind may be declaring ‘wash your arms now, wash them completely, both of those sides and involving your fingers’. Even so, when dopamine amounts are minimal and symptoms are kicking off, the information from my mind to my arms is very likely to get shed.

Hand washing will become a genuine battle with my fingers ever more rigid. The much more I attempt, the much more stressed I get, the much more dopamine depletes and the fewer I am capable to go.


Lockdown. The restrictions on going out have been tricky for everybody. For me, individually, I see socialising as aspect of my ‘medical toolkit’. This just isn’t just an excuse to go to the pub, honest.

Julie and partner Andy Johnson in the Star (43199268)
Julie and partner Andy Johnson in the Star (43199268)

Pre Covid, when PD symptoms started to kick off I would frequently go out. From knowledge, staying in doesn’t existing a lot of prospects for dopamine generation, possessing already squeezed all the enjoyment out of vacuuming.

That is a joke. I will not vacuum. On the other hand, although I know that it will be a battle, going out normally has much more dopamine-developing prospects.

Chatting with friends and laughter all make me pleased and come to feel positive which can help raise dopamine generation, in switch lowering PD symptoms.

Looking forward to 2021, and putting corny jokes apart, my PD symptoms have deteriorated for the duration of lockdown and everyday living is getting ever more tough. I was battling to uncover positivity for the new calendar year when the PD Avengers web-site popped into my inbox.

The PD Avengers’ final goal is to end Parkinson’s condition. Impressed to get action by the reserve Ending Parkinson’s by 4 of the primary Parkinson’s professionals in the entire world – Bas Bloem, PhD, MD, Michael S. Okun, MD, Ray Dorsey, MD and Todd Sherer, PhD – the PD Avengers are a international alliance of men and women with PD, companions and friends, standing with each other to demand from customers alter in how the condition is viewed and addressed.

1 of their aims is to get a single million voices to signal up to develop into PD Avengers and display their allegiance. After 4 months they’ve already arrived at 38 countries.

1 of their approaches is to ‘think regional, go global’. So, in the exact same way as I publish this regional newspaper column for the Indie in the Uk, by the electrical power of social media that a single regional voice can access all-around the entire world.

You may stay with Parkinson’s. I involve not only the individual identified with PD, but also their friends and household – there is much more than a single target. Or your only connection with PD may be reading through this column. Make sure you get a glance at their web-site and my brief video clip. If you would like to increase yourself to the listing, please sign up for us at

PD Avengers (43199238)
PD Avengers (43199238)

I glance ahead to 2021 with renewed enthusiasm that a single day the entire world could be no cost of PD.

I want you good luck in creatively creating Xmas and glance ahead to a much more positive new calendar year.

Fingers crossed and continue to be secure.

P.S. Would not it be odd if the Hokey Cokey is seriously what it is really all about?