"Be safe, Mr Moller"
"Be safe, Mr Moller!" the receptionist called out as I headed for the exit.
Her kind statement was like a red rag to a bull. I know she was referring to the virus, although there is no "virus" currently in New Zealand (you know the one I'm talking about. I won't talk too much about it by name in this article because my web rankings will suffer even more from "Shadow Banning" by some of the Big Tech companies). I could not resist the challenge. The poor woman!
"We are already too safe," I replied.
"Did you know that there comes a point where the safer we become, the less safe we actually are?" (I'll devote an article to this idea about safety soon).
She looked confused.
"Let, me explain: if I was to wrap myself in cotton wool, hide at home and take no risks, I'll be bored out of my brain, and depressed. I'll become frail. Dementia will set in. Eventually, I'll trip, fall, break a hip, end up in hospital, get an embolism and die of pneumonia. If I was to become a germaphobe, as the health authorities seem to want me to be, my immune system will weaken and I'll eventually die a miserable death from something like septicemia or the flu. To be a resilient person, regardless of age, we must expose ourselves to stress, including bugs - we must take risks if we are to be resilient creatures. By hiding from the world, by failing to understand how we fit within a healthy, competitive ecosystem, we cease to live as true human-beings. If we are too safe, life becomes boring and rather meaningless. Death is premature, protracted and miserable".
"That's really interesting," she replied.
"Think about the pandemic," I replied: "What is your risk of contracting the virus? Pretty close to nil because there is no virus in New Zealand right now. And, if you were to catch the virus, what is the risk of dying at your age? What is there to be scared about?"
"Not much at all, I guess," she replied.
"Well, you are young and healthy. The average age of those dying is about 85 which is above average life expectancy. Go figure that one! Being a young person, your risk of dying, if you were to catch it, is a miniscule 0.02%. But you have to catch it first. If you were to optimise your vitamin D, and take some zinc and vitamin C, your chances of dying, if you catch it, reduce about another 90%. Think about that. Right now, your risk of dying from this virus is probably the same as getting struck by lightning!"