Thursday, March 12, 2020

Covid 19

I know there is a lot going around about this virus right now. And it is kind of weird that there was a serious epidemic in 1818-20, and again in 1918-20. But I'm not really worried. Cautious, but not worried.

First of all, God takes care of us.

But secondly, it's 2020, not 1920.

And what's the difference?

In the 1918 epidemic toilets, clean drinking water, and refrigeration had only been introduced on a mass scale shortly before, and certainly hadn't taken full affect yet. Not everyone- or even a majority- had indoor plumbing yet.

Have you noticed that all these "killer viruses" that we have panicked over in the last few years started in developing countries with few or no toilets and clean water, or, in the case of China, places where food and such are rationed? And they all fizzled out by the time they reached America?

Toilets corral all disease associated with human waste (including the poop of those who are sick) away from everyone. This single device reduced the spread of all communicable diseases by a substantial amount. (see my post about toilets here)

Along with toilets comes clean drinking water. Most of us Americans really take this major health tool for granted. If we really wanted to stop disease in the developing nations we would make sure everyone had clean drinking water.

Refrigeration; at the time of Louis Pasteur there was actually a debate about what caused disease. Was it the transmission of germs or the health of the victim that determined who got sick and who didn't? The germ transmission theory basically won, leaving us with the feeling that we are always playing Russian Roulette with our health. If we could just kill all the germs we would be fine (thus all the hand sanitizer, which usually does more harm than good).

But it turns out that its both. If you look up Measles deaths in the US in the last 20 years you will find that 1) there have been pitifully few (20ish in the last couple of decades put together) and 2) those who died were already immuno-compromised, already weakened. Notice its only the already weakened that are in real danger from Covid 19? Everyone who has died was over 80, and all those who have been hospitalized were over 60. That wasn't true in 1918.

Refrigeration has allowed Westerners to be the best nourished people in history. Our immune systems are simply strong enough to resist most illnesses and to keep those we do get very mild. Oh, we occasionally see someone get seriously ill from germs, but it's pretty rare now a days (unless you look at Staph infections in hospitals of course, but that's a different topic.) We westerners are sick, and seem to be getting sicker all the time, but they are not illness caused by the transmission of germs. They are diabetes, cancer, and conditions where the immune system is attacking part of the body. (i.e. Rheumatoid Arthritis is the immune system attacking the joints.) They are diseases of prosperity.

So, I'm not really worried about Covid 19. I don't really think it will spread much here in America where we have well functioning toilets and clean water (except among the homeless in California where it may turn out to be a major problem since they are currently pooping in the street and living basically on drugs), and if we do catch it, those who live in my house are not in any high risk groups. We'll be sick for a week or so and then move on. I am a bit more concerned about my 81 year old father, but honestly, he is as tough and strong as you could expect a man in his 80's to be. I will be suggesting to him today that he up his vitamin C and maybe start taking echinacea as a precaution, but really, He's probably fine.

We are seriously blessed to live in this time.

(and you know, all those hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper; what in the world???? I would think, you know, FOOD would be the best thing to stock up on in case of quarantine. But whatever....)

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