On the 14th of April 2020 the estimated death toll from the CoViD-19 was 120,600. The United States with its population of over 330 million, accounts for over 23,000 of those deaths, with over 10,000 of these being from New York and only 470 being from Florida, the state which perhaps has had the most comprehensive testing and robust response (https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/). India with its population of 1 billion and 300 million, has had only 339 deaths! The difference in death rate can be accounted for by robustness of response and the thoroughness of implementation of guidelines which have been shown to work for other nations, such as Taiwan, who with a population of 23.7 million, has had 6 deaths and Morocco who reacted much later but robustly, with a population of around 37 million has only 126 deaths. Africa did well with their disease management protocols with tests turned around in approximately 4 hours whilst in Europe and the USA it took days!
- The first thing that CoViD-19 has revealed is the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness in the way that we are governed, and the concern or lack of concern with saving lives. Coming out of the pandemic we will have to ask questions about the way in which our governments have responded. The big questions must see past the rhetoric! How did our governments really act to protect our lives and how does this change the way in which we want to shape our politics? It has become clear that our health depends heavily upon our politics and the quality of leaders that we have. Early lockdown has been essential to lower death rates. Our health is political and if we don’t wish a repeat of the dismal death rates of USA, Britain, Italy, Spain and Brazil we must organise based upon this realisation. In Britain, throughout the lockdown people continue to walk off planes from affected countries, and then using public transport travel directly into London without ever being tested or quarantined. Is it surprising that the UK accounts for over 10,000 CoViD-19 deaths?
- 80% of people with CoViD-19 remain symptom free or only suffer mild symptoms. The 15% of the infected who suffer most, tended to already suffer illnesses associated with the adoption of Western lifestyles and diets. They are the demographic that has been most likely to die of CoViD-19. The diseases of diabetes, hypertension, cancer, asthma and other cardiovascular diseases, remains a public health scandal in developed nations. Our consumer society is killing us literally and lowering our capacity to survive infectious diseases. The question is why do we continue to suffer diseases associated with diet and lifestyle, which disproportionately affect the poor in our societies? Our lifestyles come at a terrible cost! Since the political will is obviously missing, what will we do about it after the CoViD-19 Pandemic?
- Why has a public health discussion on diet and natural remedies and natural medicine been absent from the public health discussion? Why has the discussion centred upon vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs only? Where is preventative holistic medicine and lifestyle management, to be found in all of these discussions? Why and how can such an important contribution be absent from the public health discussion?
- What are the real costs of increased unregulated international travel, especially as a vector for the spread of infectious diseases?
Lockdown has had its blessings but when we come out of lockdown, we really have to answer these questions and take action to ensure that we and our law and policy makers address them. Remember that our lives literally depend upon it!
For more information on dealing with the CoViD-19 join the mini course – Herbalism for the Corona Virus Pandemic