EDITOR, The Tribune.
The US adult obesity rate stands at 42.4 percent which is a 26 percent increase from 2008. Vietnam has the lowest obesity rate of 2.1 percent. Vietnam currently has 35 deaths from COVID-19 while the US has 232,834 deaths due to COVID-19.
Besides the mismanagement of the COVID crisis in the US by their political leaders, the health of their populous is a significant factor. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death worldwide. I used obesity as an index of a population’s general health.
The global strategy and tactics to combat COVID-19 globally seems to come from the twilight zone. Firstly, locking down and quarantine people who are uninfected or very low risk of death is asinine. As we see a country cannot afford to keep lockdown and open up and the rate of spread increases rapidly after a lockdown. This has happened worldwide, except countries in Asian that did mass testing of their population and quarantine infected people.
Secondly, the push for a vaccine is extremely risky because we will not know if the vaccine will have long-term detrimental effects.
The vaccines are being rushed and long-term studies will not be carried out before implementation.
Vaccines generally give a person a less virulent form of the disease and helps them to build immunity.
Would it be a better strategy to build up a population immunity through good diet and exercise?
If you give someone a vaccine whose immune system is weak, the vaccine will be ineffective and could be dangerous to the vaccinated.
Shutting down a country’s economy hurts the poor and marginalises the most vulnerable. They live from hand to mouth and have no reserve to survive the disruption of economic activity. It favours big business over small because big businesses have more capital to survive the economic downturn.
Big businesses are usually closer to political power and get more support than small businesses from government. They use the guise of saving employment.
What is ironic is that many big businesses evade paying taxes and generally small businesses pay the majority of business tax.
After the pandemic, the business tax base will shrink drastically since at least about half of small businesses will close permanently. Big business has lawyers and accountants to evade taxes.
Thirdly, the government encouragement of social distancing and people not socialising will lead to people’s spirit being defeated.
The human spirit should be strong during a war even if it is against a pandemic. The human being is inevitably social and cutting off socialisation will lead to mental and psychophysical deterioration of a populous. How will we build back stronger when we are unmotivated and uninspired or sometimes depressed?
“We need a spirit of victory, a spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a spirit which can recognise that we, as inheritors of a proud civilisation, are entitled to our rightful place on this planet. If that indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from achieving our rightful destiny.”- C V Raman.
BRIAN ELLIS PLUMMER
October 28, 2020.