COVID-19: we are an unhealthy country
Updated: Mar 4
We are an unhealthy lot - yes, we really are and its time we did something about it. If we were healthy, there would be no unnecessary deaths from this COVID-19 pandemic.
New Zealand - AKA Godzone
When I was a child during the 50s and 60s, New Zealand competed to be in the top countries in the developed world for just about every measure of health and well-being, sidling up to countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland. New Zealand now competes with countries like the USA and the UK for the title of being the most unhealthy country in the developed world! With this appalling drop in just about every standard of living and health worth caring about, so the risk has risen for New Zealanders dying from disease, rather than old age. We can see this in action by the deaths from or with COVID in Brazil, Spain, the USA and the UK. These and other countries, where the virus has taken hold, are unhealthy, sometimes despite their apparent wealth. Poverty, poor nutrition, an ageing population and an excessive reliance on drugs for healthcare are common themes. New Zealand is near the top with these.
Time for a reality check
We are now an unhealthy country, of this there is no question and something I feel ashamed to admit. We are probably the most obese nation in the world. We are one of the most medicated nations as well. Diseases, once associated with the old, are now common in our young people. Gallstones, for example. Young people in NZ will live shorter lives than their Baby-Boomer parents and grandparents. I don't know about you, but this is horrifying to me.
Why and how do we die - all of us?
Just because a person is "old", this does not mean a person must be more vulnerable to diseases like COVID-19. I agree that the elderly, as with so many others, are increasingly vulnerable to infections, but it is not because they are "old" per se. They are vulnerable for other reasons. Very few people die of old age today: instead, they die from a mix of malnutrition and medication side-effects. Not usually from old age. They die of the consequences of neglect.
Very few people die of old age today: instead, they die from a mix of malnutrition and medication side-effects.
In a healthy ecosystem, every creature has a role, often several. One role for bacteria and viruses is to cull the weak and the dying. This ensures all forms of life remain robust. Life thrives via death. Microorganisms break the dead down to their nutrient constituents, creating space and releasing these nutrients into the soil so the next generation can flourish. This is the Cycle of Life. We are an intimate part of this process and we can not escape it - no matter our fame or wealth.
Healthy people have little to fear from microbes. It is possible to live a long, healthy, productive and enjoyable life and to die peacefully and without misery, but what is "healthy"? I must answer this important question in an article soon.
Why is it we now think it is "normal" to be on medication at any age, that obesity is the new "normal", that being ill and arthritic is inevitable and normal with old age? Why is it a virus that is equivalent to a bad flu terrifies us? Why is it we throw the world's economy into chaos while we huddle in basements with our children? Why are we so weak and vulnerable that we must take such drastic action?
Understanding how we got into this collective prison is the first step to coming up with solutions for getting out.
Things that got us all into such a terrible situation:
Malnutrition is now the norm.
Food high in calories while lo