Today I would like on the one hand to remind you to think for yourself and otherwise underwrite the good sense you have.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCD’s) and lifestyle related health conditions have burgeoned in the last 50 years. Civilised communities have become sedentary, dazzled by food choices that inflate appetites, and working practises heavily influenced by technology, demanding continual attention, have raised unavoidable stresses to unhealthy levels. We can be tempted and easily succumb to screen time over the need of sleep -the mind remaining alert to receive calls, texts, and things to do reminders.
We might be living longer,
assisted by medications and supplements, but are now far more likely to die from non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and organ failure, than we are from contagious diseases. Having said that vaccines, antibiotics, and antidepressants have impinged upon our natural immune response to such an extent, we either have to take more to get well or counteract them with some other form of medicine to maintain a healthy balance.
COVID -19 reminds us that infectious diseases can severely impact our immune systems
-and be reminded yet again, Flu is a virus, and were we to count up the number of people affected by Flu yearly -that too can be statistically classified as a pandemic. Worldwide and upwards of half a million deaths are attributed to Flu. While COVID -19 grabs our attention, guidance (which is by no means new) to take care and strengthen our immune system has been pushed into the background by the media noise championing the need for vaccination. Science does not claim complete protection from vaccines -it’s impossible for any vaccine to 100% protect because viruses mutate faster and more unpredictably than we can re-engineer and test.
There are four types of vaccines.
Live attenuated vaccines use a weakened form of the virus which still grow and replicate but does not cause illness, inactivated vaccines contain live viruses whose genetic material had been destroyed by heat, chemicals or radiation so they cannot infect cells and replicate but can trigger an immune response. The other three are Nucleic acid which uses genetic material from a disease-causing virus to trigger protection, Protein subunit vaccines use fragments of protein from the virus to give immunity, and lastly Viral vector-based vaccines which use a harmless virus to smuggle the instructions for making antigens form the disease-causing virus into cells and thereby triggering protective immunity against it.
The current batch of vaccines are all trying to achieve the same thing
– immunity to the virus, and some might also be able to stop transmission. They do so by stimulating an immune response to an antigen, a molecule found on the virus. In the case of COVID-19, the antigen is typically the characteristic spike protein found on the surface of the virus, which it normally uses to help it invade human cells.
The last three vaccine types mentioned above are currently rated for emergency use only -the earliest of them, the AstraZeneca and Pfizer are not due to complete their verification for general use until 2023. Governments worldwide have taken the view -emergency use is justified to slow and eradicate the pandemic. Just how they reach a consensus to declare the pandemic is over and can be classified epidemic I really don’t know.
Voices at the up-and-coming G7 are proposing to jab the world.
Infectious diseases and noncommunicable disease are not mutually exclusive. NCD’s are a leading risk factor for becoming seriously ill if you do catch an infection. And the waves of death associated with both infectious pandemics and other seasonal (flu) infections are often followed by an increase in the average annual death rate, due to other causes, notably heart attacks and strokes -indirect consequences caused by our immunity’s inflammatory response.
We have around 25’000 genes in our body -we each have a similar set of these genes but those that vary from person to person are our immune system’s compatibility genes.
This makes the immune system almost as specific to each individual as our fingerprints!
What this means is we all have different reactions to viruses -and for that matter, vaccines. There is no magic ‘pill’. So, governments reaction to the Covid pandemic and the millions of permutations of ill health the virus could produce, is to roll out vaccines that can minimise the effects of Covid and lock everyone down until the death rate eases. As some might say they are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
What else could they do? Faced with the impossible task of having scientists create millions of individual ‘nutcrackers’ -it was Hobsons choice.
However…. We are said to learn as we make mistakes, or to put it another way, as we find results are not meeting expectations, so what are we learning?
What are the two-common links between all pandemic and epidemics?
Believe it or not, we’ve known what they are for centuries -but just try putting that question into Google and you won’t get it answered. The answer is massed population and sanitation.
Whoa! Sanitation may have been a major cause of the Black Death -but in 21st century??
This is why medical authorities advised at the outset of Covid-19 to wash your hands. But it’s more than that -we don’t have open sewers anymore, leastways we don’t in most countries. No. the sanitation problem is much more than personal hygiene. The open environment, especially in towns and cities the air is far from clean. Add to that the chemicals we ingest in our 21st century food chain (which stays edible for longer because the distances food has to travel before it gets onto your plate), you yourself can become immune suppressed simply by eating the wrong stuff and walking about in unclean areas.
And all fresh food is not equally nutritious.
For example, the soil in Denmark has been so overworked it lacks in magnesium and B6. Result? They have a high rate of kidney stone infections. Is your water clean -well of course it is, water companies treat it with chlorine or chloramine which they add to kill parasites, bacteria, viruses and germs -how naturally clean is that?
The second thing we were told at the outset of the pandemic was to socially distance and wear masks, mostly interpreted to mean keeping a two-metre distance from others in shops and open spaces, whilst this may be said to help, it does not address the root of the problem.
There are many areas in our cities and towns where living accommodation is closely packed together.
High rise flats where all must use lifts to enter and exit mean there are spaces continually shared. Build-up of carbon dioxide from expelled breath and a lack of cleansing air conditioning make these viral transmittable areas. Add to that large families sharing space where the bread winners must enter and exit on a regular basis, and you have the likelihood of the majority living there catching the virus. Masks may protect you from coughs and splutter from someone who is infected but at the same time they create a catchment of carbon dioxide and thereby reduce oxygen rich air from reaching your lungs and needlessly overwork the immune system.
Restricting the movements of peoples also disrupts mental and emotional attitudes which can lead to overindulgence of sugars and alcohol -both of which hasten the transmission of viral infections.
For all these reasons and because your individual immune system can never be entirely protected by restrictions of movement or by vaccines, viral infections will always be present in our communities.
Your saviour is your own immune system -properly managed it will prevent death and serious illness, which means you need to be more self-aware, not only what you eat, combating unhealthy stresses, and exercising, but also as I’ve been advising over the last year -the need to question your lifestyle and make changes accordingly.
Happiness and contentment are our purpose -BodyMind harmony.
The poem I’ve written for today is a reminder that the natural world still has much to teach us…
In the stone-hard furrows
of a winter fallow field
pecking the ground
the rook -knows a lean meal
when he sees one.
With a non-stop brain
in the belly unlike you
-‘I’ brain conscious,
his beak keeps pecking
getting little and less.
little is no more
and weakness halts him.
Observer and naturalist
the rook has no name.
This bare faced
creation of feather and bone
is an avatar
not found in your books.
His smallest parts
unbounded by form and time.
He knew that before
his face was feathered.
The half-closed eyes
have no regrets
as he caws
the one last time.
your looking tell you?
Do you suppose learning
comes from observing,
Can you rise above sympathy?
If so, why can you not
reveal the mystery?
He caws not for bread
or his mate
long since dead
he caws for his life
from his head.
no longer lift
the legs do not move.
The order to rest
Learn from that
if you can.
The rook who didn’t need name
whose belly forever guided his brain
shows you life’s three-fold harmony
how life transforms without pain.
Wheeling as you do
Earth and Heaven,
does your harmony bring
self-appointed surrogate King?