The COViD-19 crisis has shown in stark terms the fragility of our society, the divisiveness of our culture, and the lack of agreement on even our ways of knowing and being.

Mainstream medicine appears helpless and often clueless against this novel virus just as it is equally clueless for some acute and most chronic illnesses. The reductionist ideology that treats people as collections of organs, and the massive and increasingly monopolistic economic forces that characterize pharmaceutical patent medicine prevent effective solutions and treatments from emerging. Synthetic drugs, expensive and complex procedures and sometimes problematic vaccines remain the preferred armamentarium.

While life saving interventions are common, particularly for accidents and acute conditions, so too are iatrogenic deaths. We rightly look in horror as the weekly COVID-19 death toll increases by the thousands,  yet an equal or even greater number perish from iatrogenic death. (One study estimated the number of deaths caused by the US medical system to be 800,000!)

Those health practitioners practicing out of the mainstream have seen the prevention of illness, the achievement of optimal wellness and the successful treatment of advanced disease with natural, holistic and more accessible approaches. (I’m an example, as I was conventionally diagnosed with advanced metastatic cancer 35 years ago, was told there was no cure, found a brilliant nutritionally oriented M.D and here I am.)

Instead of the pharmaceutical patent medicine complex welcoming these new perspectives, we see highly experienced and credentialed doctors marginalized or even censored for their perspectives and practices.

A doctor in the Midwest who has a very popular health newsletter and who’s been in practice for well over 20 years presents many of his COVID-19 cases online, pointing out that of the roughly 100 people he has treated all have survived, recovered and avoided hospitalization. The methods involve the careful use of selected supplements delivered orally, by nebulizer or intravenously. These substances are legal, widely used and completely safe.

And yet just days ago his YouTube site was taken down after intervention by the federal government. Sadly, this is not an isolated case. Despite reputable studies showing that vitamin C can be an effective treatment for sepsis, respiratory syndromes and many viruses a post on YouTube or Facebook discussing the evidence that Vitamin C is a promising treatment for COVID-19 risks immediate removal from the site.

Who dies from COVID-19? Mostly folks with eminently preventable illnesses – high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity. The metabolic syndrome.

In a generation or two Americans and those in many other countries went from largely normal weight, normal blood pressure and normal blood sugar to an epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes numbering in the tens or even hundreds of millions.

The tens of billions spent on pharmaceuticals and high tech medical interventions have had little impact on these and so many other serious chronic conditions. 

Yet we know that certain diets – very low carb, plant based, and intermittent fasting – can overcome or prevent these conditions. So too can many common herbs, supplements and simple behavioral changes help prevent and treat these illnesses.

But these approaches are given little more than lip service by the medical establishment. The time it takes to educate and the absence of lucrative patent medicine to prescribe and procedures to perform are daunting barriers to making these low tech dietary, supplement, and behavioral changes the standard of care. 

So perhaps it is time to speak for ‘Health for All’ rather than Medicare for All. For Medicare has not significantly decreased the burden of chronic diseases that seniors and other Medicare eligible individuals live with every day of their lives, as it too focuses on patent medicine and on symptomatic treatment rather than on disease reversal. 

Can we learn from COVID-19 and find ways to overcome this counterproductive, even tragic stranglehold that conventional  pharmaceutical medicine has in the western world and increasingly throughout the planet? I hope so. 

If you’ve got some ideas or projects that promise to enhance the health of people and communities please consider submitting a proposal to Planetphilia.