The Pandemic and Three Myths Of Health
2020 is not the first recorded instance of a pandemic. In fact, pandemics have been quite common in history. A few of the more commonly known are: polio, small pox, bubonic plague, leprosy, H1N1, the first go with SARS, Ebola, AIDS, Spanish flu, tuberculosis, and cholera. Epidemics and pandemics are not new, but what does appear to be new are the myths that are starting to arise about how we respond to them and health in general. It seems about time we address some common myths and urban legends that are circulating about the origins of these diseases and how we respond them.
Myth #1: Government and Doctors are Responsible for Public Health
Physicians can treat an illness. Physicians can also run a battery of tests to check certain indicators of health or screen for illness. Physicians can suggest treatment and give advice. But going to the doctor does not necessarily equate to health. The simple acts of walking to your car, starting the engine, driving to the doctor’s office, undergoing tests, and speaking to a doctor, do not, in and of themselves, make you healthy. Improved health relies on individual actions and choices.
A large portion of our health comes from what we eat, how much we sleep, what we drink, and what we breathe. Every cell in our body is made up of what we take in. Food, water, and air are the building blocks of every cell in our body. If that food, water, and air are unclean, we can expect to be unhealthy. If, on the other hand, the food, water, and air are pure and natural, we can expect that these will contribute to better health.
Because we are responsible for what we ingest and what we ingest contributes to health, responsibility for health care, therefore, comes from our own health care decisions in terms of what we eat, drink, and breathe. Junk food, high fructose corn syrup, carbonated drinks, and inhaling cigarette smoke may not be in the best interest of our health. On the other hand, clean air, clean water, and organic food that is close to the minerals and nutrients of the earth create the essential building blocks that are necessary for optimal cellular function and regeneration.
As far as the government and the term healthcare are concerned, the government does not offer health, nor does it offer care. Recently, the government created mandatory health insurance regulation under the guise of calling it healthcare. The very word “government,” means “to govern.” The primary role of government is, therefore, to institute governance, nothing more, nothing less. When the government instituted a system of health insurance, it did not institute health care. What the government put into place was a complex health insurance system that it could administer.
Myth Busted - Be suspicious of any thing or person that claims to have control over your health care. Health care is the responsibility and choice of the individual.
Myth #2: Health Means Being Physically Fit
There are actually at least five types of health: physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual. Physical health is the condition of the body. Is the body running optimally, or is the body struggling to perform basic processes such as digestion, exertion, breathing, circulation, etc.? But this is not the sole area of health. There are others. Mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual health also play a role in the quality of our lives.
We may spend a lot of time and attention on our physical health, but what is the condition of our mental health? Are we addressing our emotional needs for human contact, love, and connection? What about our financial needs? Do we have enough money in the bank to pay bills and attend to our needs and the needs of our family? And do we have a spiritual connection and framework for the world around us whatever that might be for each of us individually? If any of these areas suffer, our health may suffer as well.
Not only that, but when one of these areas is out of balance, it can throw off the other areas of health as well, leading to a sort of downward spiral of overall illness and imbalance. If our physical health suffers, it can affect our emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial health. If our mental health suffers, our physical, financial, and emotional health may decline.
One could, therefore, argue that the most important goal of life is to attend to all aspects of our health. And when we take time to contemplate life, nearly every action we take relates back to health. From paying bills, to going to the grocery store, to socializing with friends, to spending time at the gym, to our job, to going to church, every action (or in action) we take has some consequence on our health.
We should expand our view of heath. To think only in terms of the physical body is myopic. Health of the heart, mind, body, and spirit, along with the ability to earn a living, are equally important and can greatly contribute to our happiness, joy, purpose, and financial stability.
Myth Busted - Anything and any person that stands in the way of our path to these five aspects of health should be questioned and cross examined for motive and ethics.
Myth #3: Humans Were Put on the Planet or Evolved on the Planet to Conquer Nature
If every cell in our body is constructed from what we eat, drink, and breathe, then the health of the planet is our number #1 goal in life. Our planet and its condition has a direct impact on the health of the individual. If we treat the planet badly - polluting the air, water, and food supply - then we pollute our lungs, our digestive systems, and our circulation. Right now the planet is suffering from our actions, and it shows in the number of people who are seeking treatment for cancers, asthmas, digestive illnesses, respiratory illnesses, and the like. If we make the planet sick, we make ourselves sick as well.
The condition of the planet is a reflection of the condition of our bodies, minds, and hearts. If the planet is sick, we are sick. If the planet is well, it contributes to our health and wellness. To think we were put here to conquer that which sustains us is like saying our goal in life is to harm ourselves. Our goal should rather be to care for ourselves and for each other.
Even a tree depends on soil, food, and air. The same is true for every living organism on the planet, including humans. It is our arrogance that would have us believe otherwise. If we destroy that which sustains us, we destroy ourselves.
The recent epidemic is proof that we must take better care of this planet. Whether the virus evolved from nature or human laboratory is inconsequential. It is a sign that we are making ourselves sick and that we must change our current behavior to become better stewards of the planet.
Littering our oceans, polluting our air, altering our food supply through genetic engineering, and social isolation which will contribute to many emotional scars, is a clear sign that our health and the health of the planet must be our number one goal for this lifetime.
Myth Busted - Human health depends on the health of the planet. Humans were not put on earth to conquer and destroy it but to care for it. Caring for the planet is the highest form of self care and care for others because what we do to the planet, we do to ourselves.
The truth is that we do not need complex governance systems of economy to survive. History has proven that we can, in fact, live without them. But we as humans absolutely need clean air, clean water, and clean food. The current epidemic is a wake up call, a red flag that our planet is out of balance. The solution for this balance and returning to a state of health is not to impose government tracking and mandated social isolation. These are merely precautions based on fear. The solution is improvement in the way that we treat the earth and each other.