Global Public Health: Brief Comparison of Two Lifestyles

Authored By:

Amber R.

                I suppose a great assumption has been one of my weaknesses. In Germany, many hold the belief that air conditioning will cause them to have a stiff neck and begin to feel sick. However, air conditioning is prevalent in the United States. That means that almost every home and business is equipped with it. Unlike the latter, Germany prefers to rely on open spaces as the natural air circulates inside spaces.

                Bicyclists are the new pedestrians—at least in Berlin. They are often too dispersed to miss. Not to mention, the scolding that one will receive if he decides to walk or block the bicycle lane. Such a whimsical observation may seem useless, but it may account for the lower obesity rate in comparison with the United States. Bicycling helps reduce the risk for heart disease as well as regulates muscle strength and overall agility.

                On the downside, there is an equal amount of cigarette smoke that laces every corner—waiting for its next target. If you are a pedestrian, there is an overwhelming chance that you will encounter a cloud of cigarette smoke without warning, it is inevitable. In the United States, this inhalation is avoidable.

                However, Germany seems to prioritize Global Public Health regardless of the numerous smokers. There are bins attached to street poles at eye level, to discard of dog poop and cigarette butts. Alongside that, I have yet to see any litter on German streets. Back in the United States, trash almost decorates each main street.

                Despite these differences, I found comfort in a couple instances. Upon walking toward the U-Bahn (German underground metro), I heard mellifluous sounds that I recognized to be of a saxophone. The melodies mimicked similar tones that I had heard of many Black jazz singers. When I reached the origin of this mellifluous harmony, I realized that it was a saxophonist paired with a speaker. However, he was not playing at all. I thought that was quite comical in nature, so I continued my expedition with a smile on my face.

                As I sat in the subway car, I noticed that many people were in it with me. That is when it dawned on me that Germans rely on public transportation heavily. Perhaps for occupations, leisure, or just necessity. As a man sneezed next to me, it made me consider that the goals of Global Public Health in Germany may be opposed daily.