Tag Archives: Health

Herd Immunity, by Hardscrabble Farmer

Many of the ills besetting modern humanity come from what we have called progress. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

We just wrapped up the sugaring season, our tenth one. Now that all the syrup is made, we’ll start to pull taps and flush lines, clean up the evaporator and restock wood for next year. There will be a couple of days of power washing and scrubbing, hiking back up into the maple orchard and walking back out again at the end of the day. We’ll have to work with the weather to catch the right mix of the warm sunny days to wash and dry hundreds of buckets, lids, and spiles and scrub the out the totes before we put them back in storage until next year.

It was a so-so year for production but the quality was as good as anything we have ever made. The time up in the sugarbush between the end of January when we started clearing out the deadwood and repairing broken lines and first run in early March was an opportunity to reflect on the past year. That’s one of the advantages of living in tune with the seasons, the ability to apprehend both the passage of time outside of man-made means. I watched as my sons took on ever more responsibility this season, carrying the tool bags slung over their shoulders, both of them taller than they were last year, their hair down to their shoulders now.

I have been paying closer attention to the older trees in the stand, trying to identify the ones in the terminal stages of decline to remove from the mainlines and watching for the emerging ones mature enough to take their place. From up on top of the esker, even in the middle of the big stand of hemlocks you could look through the black lace of the bare branches and see the herd pretend to graze on the snow-covered pasture below. Last year’s bullocks are filling out, even at the tail end of Winter, and all of the cows are wide with this year’s calves only weeks away now. For all of the furor that took place out there somewhere since this time last year, everything here has just matured, like a fine wine.

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Lockdowns Worsen the Health Crisis, by Kiley Holliday and Jenin Younes

Locked in your domicile all day, overeating and getting no exercise makes you fatter, and obesity is the second most prevalent comorbidity (behind advanced age) for Covid. From Kiley Holliday and Jenin Younes at aier.org:

One of the most infuriating aspects of a year replete with illogical, short-sighted public health mandates has been the utter failure of those within the public health profession to adequately address the role that poor diet and lack of exercise have played in exacerbating the coronavirus crisis.  In fact, many of the decrees ostensibly issued in the name of public health have had the effect only of aggravating the underlying problem.

A recent global study found that obesity is a “driving factor in COVID-19 deaths,” and that Covid-19 death rates are an astonishing ten times higher in countries where most adults are overweight.  Although advanced age is the strongest indicator of a severe outcome from a coronavirus infection, “being overweight comes a close second,” the report determined.  The CEO of the World Obesity Federation went so far as to blame the “failure to address the root causes of obesity over many decades . . . for hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths.”  While the study makes evident the degree to which poor underlying health is a driving force in coronavirus deaths, we have known almost since the beginning that being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of a severe outcome.

Given this information, the Anthony Faucis and Eric Feigl-Dings of the world should focus on alerting people to the dangers of being overweight and obese, and expending significant efforts to encourage exercise and healthy diet.  Instead, they have spent the past twelve months urging people to “stay home, save lives” and to wear two masks, if not three or four, a measure not shown to have mitigated coronavirus deaths at all.

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Health, Wealth and What Kills Most of Us, by Charles Hugh Smith

A lot of death is essentially self-inflicted. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

If health is wealth, and it most certainly is the highest form of wealth, then we would be well-served to take charge of our health-wealth in terms of what behaviors we can sustainably modify.

Longtime correspondent J.F. (MD) recently shared a fascinating graphic ranking the leading causes of death in the U.S. (2016 data, pre-pandemic) compared to searches on Google and what the media reports. (see chart below) Note that this data isn’t a survey asking people to rank the leading causes of death, but it does reflect what health topics they were interested in finding more about via web searches.

The media coverage of each cause of death is also not a representation of what the media presents as the leading causes of death; it’s a reflection of the quantity of media coverage of each cause of death.

I’m making these stipulations because this reminded me of a similar chart which depicts three different views of wealth inequality in the U.S.: (see chart below)

1. The actual distribution of wealth

2. What survey respondents thought was the actual distribution of wealth

3. What survey respondents thought was the ideal distribution of wealth

This survey made quite a media splash when it was published a few years ago because wealth inequality was so much more extreme than what people thought and what they reckoned as ideal. Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think: The great divide between our beliefs, our ideals, and reality.

Here’s the source research: (Mis)perceptions of inequality

And here is a typical research presentation of just how extreme wealth inequality has become in the U.S.: Middle Class Now Holds Less Wealth than Top 1 Percent

Returning to the causes of death chart, note the remarkable disparity between the leading cause of death, heart disease, and the search and media coverage of heart disease. While heart disease causes almost a third of all deaths, the search results and media coverages were tiny fractions of the total searches/coverage.

Cancer has a higher profile, appearing in searches somewhat in proportion to its ranking as the #2 cause of death, also about a third. Media coverage of cancer was modest but far more significant than the coverage of heart disease.

Not surprisingly, the most dramatic and tragic causes of death–suicide, homicide and terrorism– attracted the most media coverage, and a larger percentage of searches than the actual percentages of causes of death.

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Why Aren’t We Promoting Health to Combat COVID? By Joseph Mercola

Since the coronavirus outbreak, there is perhaps one million media mentions of lockdowns, social distancing, masking, and vaccines for every one mention of bolstering immune systems and promoting health as defenses against the disease. From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

It’s an unfortunate fact that health officials and pandemic response authorities, by and large, are completely ignoring the role a healthy lifestyle plays in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing instead, almost exclusively, on the necessity for a vaccine.

According to Reuters,1 the U.S. government is planning to launch an “overwhelming” COVID-19 vaccine campaign come November. An unnamed “senior White House administration official” is quoted saying:2

“The fine line we are walking is getting the American people very excited about vaccines and missing expectations versus having a bunch of vaccines in the warehouse and not as many people want to get it. You may not hear a lot about promoting vaccines over the airwaves in August and September but you’ll be overwhelmed by it come November.”

But is a vaccine really going to be the answer people are hoping for? For example, many have bought into the mainstream narrative that masks are here to stay until or unless there’s a vaccine, and getting vaccinated would mean the end to mask mandates.

Considering the fact that neither masks nor vaccines offer significant protection against the virus, chances are such hopes will get dashed. Maria Elena Bottazzi, a COVID-19 vaccine developer at Baylor College of Medicine, recently warned3 that social distancing and face masks will likely still be required even after a vaccine becomes available, as the vaccine will not offer 100% protection against infection.

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Study: Exercising With Mask Induces a “Hypercapnic Hypoxia Environment” – Not Good, by Arjun Walia

You do yourself more harm than good exercising with a mask. From Arjun Walla at collective-evolution.com:

In Brief

  • The Facts:A study published in June 2020 raises some health concerns about people wearing masks while exercising. It also calls into question the ability of masks to stop Covid-19.
  • Reflect On:Are the mandatory orders that we are being given from government health authorities really the right thing to do? Why is there such a back-lash for questioning these measures? Should we not encourage questioning and discussion?

What Happened: A recent study published in the Journal Medical Hypothesis titled “Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword? – A physiological hypothesis” claims the following:

Exercising with facemasks may reduce available Oxygen and increase air trapping preventing substantial carbon dioxide exchange. The hypercapnic hypoxia may potentially increase acidic environment, cardiac overload, anaerobic metabolism and renal overload, which may substantially aggravate the underlying pathology of established chronic diseases. Further contrary to the earlier thought, no evidence exists to claim the facemasks during exercise offer additional protection from the droplet transfer of the virus. Hence, we recommend social distancing is better than facemasks during exercise and optimal utilization rather than exploitation of facemasks during exercise.

According to the authors, exercising with facemasks induced as “a hypercapnic hypoxia environment [inadequate Oxygen (O2) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange] . This acidic environment, both at the alveolar and blood vessels level, induces numerous physiological alterations when exercising with facemasks: 1) Metabolic shift; 2) cardiorespiratory stress; 3) excretory system altercations; 4) Immune mechanism; 5) Brain and nervous system.’

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Bronx ER Doctor Explains Why Reopening The Economy Now Might Actually Save Lives, by Tyler Durden

Not everyone in the medical and epidemiological professions is convinced that house arrest is the way to best fight the coronavirus. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Last night, after we reported on a pair of ER doctors arguing that the US states should lift their lockdowns immediately (during the course of their argument, which was mostly rooted in trends they’ve witnessed first hand, they apparently made the error of bringing up ‘personal liberty’ and ‘the Constitution’, words that prompt progressives to stop listening and start squawking about killing grandma to further enrich the billionaires) YouTube decided that their argument constituted ‘misinformation’ about the coronavirus outbreak and deleted the video after it racked up more than 5 million views.

We found that curious, since even doctors and epidemiologists have told mainstream news organizations that our understanding of the virus is still developing, and things we thought weren’t accurate just weeks ago and now being re-examined. One such aspect is the heavy handed lockdown response implemented across the US, and elsewhere. Urban leftists and out-of-touch Silicon Valley billionaires simply don’t understand that there are millions of Americans out there – many of whom happen to be white – who are absolutely terrified about losing their livelihoods, and don’t understand why all of this is necessary to combat a virus that leaves the vast majority of those infected unscathed.

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Health Care Laws Should Be Abolished, by Doug Casey

Free markets in medical care and medical insurance would produce far better health care and at much lower cost than the present abominations. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Editor’s note: The ninth democratic debate aired on Wednesday night. Six candidates qualified (including billionaire Mike Bloomberg) and the event is being compared to a “Vegas boxing match”…

One of the biggest topics up for discussion (and beatdown) was healthcare – who should pay for it, whether it’s a human right, and whether frontrunner Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan is in any way feasible.

Of course, Casey Research founder Doug Casey has a lot to say on the subject… and his proposed solution may shock you…

By Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research

How to reform the U.S. “health care” system is a continuing topic in the news. I put that phrase in quotes because it’s a misnomer. You don’t insure your health – that can’t be done. You can only insure that the costs of medical care, if your health fails, will be covered. Saying “health care” makes people think that someone else will magically assure their health, which is impossible. Collectivists like to use the phrase as part of their continuing war on what words mean, and how people think.

Health is something you do for yourself with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle decisions. Medical care is something very different; it’s what you need for acute trauma or disease. People want good health, but all insurance can give them is hospitals, doctors, and medicines – all of which are scary.

In any event, there does seem to be universal agreement on two related matters. One, that Americans are overweight, underexercised, and overmedicated. Two, that the U.S. medical care system is “broken” and something needs to be done. I have a radical proposal, even though there’s not a chance in hell it will ever be adopted or even discussed in public.

Here it is: Not only should there be no form of national medical care, but Medicare, Medicaid, the FDA, and all laws regulating anything to do with medicine and health should be abolished. Why? Because they are the actual cause of the crisis.

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100+ Doctors Demand Julian Assange Receive Safe Passage to Australian Hospital ‘Before It Is Too Late, by Andrea Germanos

Somebody’s speaking up now that Julian Assange has one foot in the grave. From Andrea Germanos at commondreams.org:

“That we, as doctors, feel ethically compelled to hold governments to account on medical grounds speaks volumes about the gravity of the medical, ethical, and human rights travesties that are taking place.”

Placards and messages in support of Julian Assange sit outside Ecuadorian Embassy stands in South Kensington on April 5, 2019 in London.

Placards and messages in support of Julian Assange sit outside Ecuadorian Embassy stands in South Kensington on April 5, 2019 in London. (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

A group of over 100 doctors on Monday urged the Australian government to end its “refusal to act” in the case of Julian Assange and insist the British government release the WikiLeaks founder from prison so he can be safely sent to an Australian hospital before “it is too late.”

In an open letter addressed to Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors say that “the most fundamental human rights of an Australian citizen are being denied by the British government.”

The international medical experts, who hail from countries including the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, called upon Payne to abide by his “undeniable legal obligation to protect your citizen against the abuse of his fundamental human rights, stemming from U.S. efforts to extradite Mr. Assange for journalism and publishing that exposed U.S. war crimes.”

Assange has been in London’s Belmarsh prison since April for skipping bail seven years ago when he first took refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He’s facing possible extradition to the United States for alleged violations of the Espionage Act.  His time at the embassy and at Belmarsh had led to “medical neglect and fragile health,” the doctors said, adding that Assange continues to suffer psychological torture at the London jail.

It’s not the first time the medical group has sounded alarm on Assange’s deteriorating health conditions.

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Food Is Freedom: How Washington’s Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat and Sick, by Sam Jacobs

Surely the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup in so many products might have something to do with the fact that corn is heavily subsidized by the US government. From Sam Jacobs at theburningplatform.com:

Farm subsidies are perhaps the ultimate, but secret, third rail of American politics. While entitlements are discussed out in the open, farm subsidies are rarely talked about – even though they are the most expensive subsidy Washington doles out.

All told, the U.S. government spends $20 billion annually on farm subsidies, with approximately 39 percent of all farms receiving some sort of subsidy. For comparison, the oil industry gets about $4.6 billion annually and annual housing subsidies total another $15 billion. A significant portion of this $20 billion goes not to your local family farm, but to Big Aggie.

(Note that this $20 billion annual farm subsidy figure doesn’t take into account the 30+ years of ethanol subsidies to the corn industry nor export subsidies to U.S. farmers issued by the USDA.)

The government never properly explains why this is. Certainly small farmers are growing their crops at enormous risk. However, it’s not clear that agriculture is any different than other high-risk industries – especially because the United States is blessed with some of the most fertile farmland in the world, and a highly skilled labor force.

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The 2 Most Important Things I Learned When the SHTF in Venezuela, by J.G. Martinez D.

Some things just cannot be taken for granted. From J.G. Martinez D. at theorganicprepper.com:

Hello again fellows.

It’s has been a while since our last interaction.

Some health issues have knocked me down on my back, literally, this last week, but here I am again. Stress seems to be charging a toll on me.

Let’s go straight to the topic now. I know this is not something I usually do, you’re right.

If there is something that looks like SHTF, it is the extreme change of the situation we faced. I will elaborate a small prelude for those readers unaware of our story. I had a good life back there in Venezuela, until 3 or 4 years ago. Living in an already paid for house, in a good subdivision, a city the exact size not too big not too small..good medical care, good salary, a great job. In less than one year (a few months, indeed) all of that is gone. Couple relationship, everything. A total extension, all of a sudden, life reset. And a bugout getting through two foreign countries, now becoming increasingly violent against us migrants.

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