With the vast majority of public and private attention being directed towards the coronavirus pandemic gripping the planet, at a more global level, we need to consider why has this happened in the first place? Although the blame can be directed at the very poor hygienic practices of wet markets in China, at a much more profound level, it is my opinion that the major key to all of the world’s significant problems is excessive population.
China obviously has the world’s largest population and therefore a population that needs feeding. With so many mouths needed to be fed, you must widen the choices for foodstuffs, and exotic animals (possibly even including bats) may be on the menu. This type of food consumption would not be considered by the vast majority of people living in the western world.
Again, the vast majority of deaths from coronavirus are in the frail, elderly population, people with other significant health issues and immune problems or, tragically, our new world heroes, the health workers. I explained in my last article on viral load why health workers were more susceptible. But, health workers aside, we must ask the question when someone dies from the coronavirus, are they really dying from the virus or has this purely tipped them over the edge quicker than expected?
Interestingly, on the day of 9/11, the rate of sudden cardiac death increased seven times across the USA. This was in predisposed people with often serious heart disease and the stress of the attacks on the World Trade Centre precipitated their death. Should we therefore be calling this a 9/11 death or death due to heart disease? To use the same analogy, when an elderly person with serious co-morbidities develops coronavirus and dies, should we be calling this a COVID-19 death or purely just a precipitating factor that brought about that persons demise possibly a few weeks to months earlier than would’ve been expected.
It is my opinion that we should see the current coronavirus epidemic as an opportunity to examine our current medical practices and critically review the way we deal with the overpopulation issue. Again, all the major issues around the world stem from the overpopulation of human beings. This includes food and water shortages seen in many places in less developed countries, the one in eight deaths from air-pollution globally, including the one in four deaths in China from the same problem.
Now that many people are living in overcrowded, polluted cities, often in high-rise buildings sharing the same air conditioning units, it is my prediction that we will be seeing many more new, exotic viruses and other microbes that will induce a variety of respiratory, gastrointestinal and other end-organ diseases. We will need a much better strategy than locking the world down every time one of these microbes emerges.
Until recently, most medical research around the world has been aimed at chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer with infectious diseases taking a back seat. One of the only positives of the coronavirus pandemic is the new focus on anti-infective research.
But, the population crisis needs addressing on an urgent basis and, in my view, there are two basic areas that need to be addressed. Firstly, is to reduce the amount of people being born on the planet through widespread contraceptive programs, encouraging women to have children earlier and facilitating re-entry into the work force rather than the current difficulties experienced by many women in this situation. Although, I do not believe there should be penalties for having more children, people should be encouraged to limit their families and to adopt. I also do not want to get into the abortion debate as, although I have a personal view, I do not want to sideline my current argument.
At the other end of life, is the entire debate around people I am suggesting have entered their death phase should be allowed to pass peacefully, rather than this bizarre insistence on keeping people alive at all costs. Any sensible doctor knows when a person has entered the death phase where their life has ended and they are purely existing, waiting for the final decision.
1) End stage dementia where they no longer recognise relatives and friends
2) End stage cancer where there is no possibility for any curative therapy and purely requires palliation
3) A disabling stroke where another person needs to wipe their backside with no possibility for recovery
4) Some other end stage neurologic condition that also satisfies the “backside rule” such as end stage Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis where a person is either bed-bound or wheelchair-bound and requires daily care and can perform no independent functions
5) Finally, severe chronic pain with no respite from oral therapies.
In all of these situations, it is my opinion that all standard medical therapy should be ceased and replaced with regular, 4th hourly injections of morphine. This would place the person into a peaceful oblivion and allow them to pass on quickly. When the inevitable infection occurs, typically in under a month, no treatment should be given. This would end a person’s suffering, not to mention the suffering of their relatives watching their loved ones die over months and months.
Another benefit to this approach would see needless funds being spent on maintaining existence and prolonging death, not life.
Until we deal with the burgeoning population on this planet, we will continue to see all the major issues stemming from this overpopulation becoming a more significant concern. It is my opinion that the coronavirus pandemic has purely shone a light on an issue that hardly anyone in the public space seems to be giving any attention whatsoever.
Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “we cannot solve our current problems with the same thinking we used to create them”. Nothing could be closer to the truth than this comment.