Planet Earth Can’t Wait for Us to Go Away

Unless we learn to reconnect with nature.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD
4 min readApr 14


Photo courtesy of author

They turned down my request for a repeat prescription. The day before Easter weekend. I need a new vial of fluticasone nasal spray every three to four months or so. It reduces hay fever irritation inside my nose. It also helps shrink nasal polyps. I had a nasal polyp experience in my teens. Nothing serious. Just an unpleasant feeling of a blocked nose and a reduced sense of smell. An ENT doctor removed it. She also prescribed the nasal spray to minimize the chance of polyps recurring.

Perhaps it’s just my imagination. But I am doing very well with my nasal spray. No polyp ever obstructed my nose again. And I have never experienced an allergic reaction to pollen anymore. So, I wasn’t very pleased with the rejection.

After a few phone calls, I discovered the reason for the rejection. It made me feel even worse. The general practitioner changed the way of working. They no longer accept digital requests — through an app or email. A new assistant and cybersecurity concerns. You have to go there in person or call. “What happened to digital transformation?” I screamed at the rejection message.

I was so irritated. I love retro stuff — to remember the good old times. But the general practitioner’s new — analog — working method felt like a huge step back in time. A method that didn’t fit my busy digital schedule at all. A real disruption. I also realized that my life had become about online and digitally connected communication. Perhaps too much.

After a few minutes, I was shocked that such an insignificant and unimportant thing made me feel so bad. “Why am I so upset?” I asked myself. I only have to make four phone calls a year to receive a new bottle of nasal spray.

So, I decided to go outside. The weather was good. I noticed a bumblebee in the garden. It must have been a queen looking for a suitable nest site. My frustration instantly disappeared. The stress melted away. Curiosity and an old passion took over.


Meditative Moments

It has always been my dream to become a biologist. I’m happy around animals — have always been. For me, being in nature is calming.



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (Law) | Sci-fi | Sociological storytelling