Growing old is not fun for most people. For me, I'm having a ball as I head towards my 70's! The purpose of articles like this is to show my readers that getting old and disease are separate, independent entities. It is possible to live a long, healthy, productive and enjoyable life and to die peacefully in one's sleep. This is what every person should aspire to.
COVID-19 is proving deadly, although there is ongoing debate over just how many of these deaths are "because of" the virus or are dying "with" the virus. This is an important distinction. Regardless of what the real numbers are, this virus is killing the weak and the infirm. By far, the victims are old people with significant comorbidities. A healthy young person is more likely to die from crossing the road than from COVID-19.
The chart above illustrates how the Tsunami of Baby-Boomers are now entering old age, estimated to peak around 2030. When we say, "peak" that also means that there are going to be a lot more sick and dying old people over the next ten years. Many millions of people, including myself, who were not killed off by disease, famine, industrial accidents and war when young, are coming due to leave this life over the next 10-20 years. Everyone is going to die, and it is becoming time for the post World War 2 Baby-boomers to begin their inevitable process of departure. COVID-19 or not, many people are going to be dying. These are boomer times for the sickness industry.
I mentioned "sick and dying". We (Baby-Boomers) began as the most healthy generation in human existence. We are now incredibly unhealthy. The rise of the Sickness Industry, the modern health system which requires an endless supply of people who are sick from the cradle to the grave, has thrown a spanner in the works. The once healthy Baby-Boomers are now the most heavily medicated of any over-60 cohort in human history! Being unhealthy and being on multiple medications is now the norm. One of the simplest measures of risk for all disease is if the belly circumference is greater than the chest one. A large belly is now normal for all age groups, including mine. I feel very sad that poor health is now the norm. The bar for what is good health for all ages is being set lower and lower. Disease-based industry is doing everything it can to lower the bar more, and it is succeeding.
I have said many times that most people nowadays are not dying of old age; they are dying from the combination of malnutrition and medication side-effects. I have clients in their 80s who are in great health. They are do not need medication; they are free of disease; they are having a wonderful time. These people have methodically invested in their health. They are keeping at least 20 years ahead of any disease. They are the ones most likely to exceed 100 years and to die peacefully in their sleep.
When I was in my 20s, I got the job of going to the IAAF Masters Track and Field World Championships in Sweden as the NZ team's trainer and medic. That was in 1977, the first NZ team to compete. Until then, I had been working with the sick and the dying in hospital. I had resolved that I never wanted to be old and planned to be dead by the time I turned 50. These world championships changed my life forever!
Thousands of really, really old athletes were throwing heavy objects, leaping water-filled moats and running marathons. In the evenings, instead of being tucked into bed, they were out dancing, enjoying nutritious food and wine! These vibrant people were traveling the world, competing and exploring as they went. They pressed my Big Red Reset Button! Aging and disease were not the same.
Here's the thing: being unwell and frail is now the norm, for all, especially for old people. We have a booming number of elderly people who are so fragile that a fall, or even the common cold, may kill them, let alone if they catch COVID-19. From all we know of COVID-19 now, a healthy person has little to nothing to worry about COVID-19, other than the economic devastation that the response is causing, along with the loss of personal freedoms.
Here's the next thing: who is a healthy person today? Each person has a unique concept of what is a healthy person. Mine will differ from yours. It is like asking an Eskimo if today is a warm day, then asking a Samoan the same question. The answers will be very different. I am surrounded by healthy people. This began in 1977. Most people my age hang out with people who are struggling with disease, people who are on many medications. My idea of what is a healthy person is different to most people. It is definitely different to the people who determine health policy. The standard today, for who qualifies as a healthy person is getting lower and lower. When I say that a "healthy" person has little to fear from the COVID-19 virus, that is tantamount to treason. I stand by this: a healthy person, by my standards, has little to fear.
Being unwell and frail is the norm. That was my norm when I worked in a hospital. Sick people were my norm. The sickness industry, which dwarfs the arms industry, wants all of us to be sick from the cradle to the grave and they are making sure that this is happening. This industry dominates healthcare policy and spending. How long we live is irrelevant; what matters to them is being able to extract every dollar from our pockets before we die. It is as simple as that! If you think the Government, Big Pharma and Big Medicine are going to save you and confer a long and healthy life, dream on! The only person who will save you is yourself. Invest in your health, beginning from today.
My predictions for this pandemic, if we continue down the path we are taking
We will continue to spend quadrillions of dollars on the COVID response, enriching and concentrating power for a few individuals and corporations while most of us are poorer and disenfranchised. Small to medium-sized businesses will be gutted.
Increasing stress, poverty, lack of sunshine, overcrowding, poor nutrition and over-medication will further weaken humanity, making them ripe for exploitation.
As the Northern Hemisphere enters Summer a few months from now, the pandemic will naturally wane. While the vaccines may help this, all the credit will go to them.
A further wave of infection will happen as the next Winter sets in and new variants of the virus take hold. This will mandate even tougher restrictions and more spending on vaccinations and any other patent medicines that may come along.
Measures will intensify to suppress alternative voices, cheap, non-patent, nutrition and lifestyle measures which improve population health and minimise the consequences of all disease, including COVID-19.
A vaccine passport required, not only for travel, domestic and international, but to enter our workplace, and any store, cafe, school or a hospital. This will not be just for COVID-19, it will gradually extend to include vaccines such as those for the seasonal flu, hepatitis B and Measles.
When COVID-19 becomes a background disease a few years from now, and for which there will be a seasonal vaccine, a new pandemic caused by a new virus will arise. This is inevitable because the COVID-19 measures have further weakened the population, population is increasing, as is crowding, and the bulge of aging people is only just plateauing.
The next cycle of lockdowns and the hunt for the next vaccine will begin. This is like the need for new and perpetual wars to keep the arms industry thriving.
How do we avoid this catastrophe?
For me, the challenges are too many, too big and too complex, and the powers-that-be are too powerful to confront head-on. Instead, my strategy is concentrating on what I can handle while keeping sane. I'm concentrating on myself and my immediate family. I'm concentrating on my clients. I'm concentrating on doing what I can to keep them healthy. I'm not letting authority and fear rule my life. I recommend you do the same. Look after your patch. Invest in your health. If we all do this, we win!
I'm off for a mountain bike ride - a mental health break.