Pandemics

In history we have had pandemics and epidemics throughout the world. A pandemic is an epidemic disease that has spread across populations over vast areas such as continents or even globally, normally resulting in serious illness and death[1].

One of the most infamous is the Black Death, a medieval pandemic that swept through Asia and Europe in the late 1340s, killing an estimated 25 million people[2]. To put this into perspective, at that time there were only around half a billion people on the planet[3], and it is said that the Black Death was “one of the most devastating pandemics in human history and brought entire civilisations to their knees during its last global outbreak”[4]. Although that plague is now rare in Europe, there are still cases reported in areas such as Congo, Madagascar and Zambia[5].

In recent times we have witnessed pandemics such as SARS and MERS and now SARS-COV-2, the virus which is responsible for the disease/symptoms called COVID-19. This is a pandemic reaching a global scale, which at the time of writing (in Jan 2021) reports state that there are reportedly 84.1 million cases worldwide with 1.83 million deaths[16].

It is clear that pandemics are nothing new to our human race, with ‘seasonal’ or annual pandemics, for example influenza (the flu). Worldwide, these annual epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 290,000 to 650,000 respiratory deaths[17].

These types of pandemics are often described as communicable diseases as they spread from one infected person to another, usually by coughs or sneezes and hence the contagious virus or bacteria is able to disperse globally in a relatively short period of time.

Pandemics like Covid-19 garner much media attention and headlines due to the speed at which populations are impacted as the virus spreads at an alarming rate.

Yet each year we see similar pandemics due to the flu and other than a passing mention regarding the severity of the flu season, we often don’t give them a second thought as they have become so normal and accepted as part of our way of life.

But what if we were to tell you that we have global pandemics happening on a massive scale daily? Pandemics that barely scratch the surface of our conscious consideration yet alone make the headlines in the news and media outlets?

But how could that be? If the world populace were in the grip of a daily global pandemic, surely we would hear and know about it just like we are currently in relation to Covid-19.

Well, the answer would lie in how and what we define as a pandemic... Do we limit our definition to health issues that are contagious, infectious and global, or should a pandemic be an illness, disease or medical condition that is affecting large numbers of our population at any one time, irrespective of whether it can be ‘caught’ from another person or not?

If we limit the definition of pandemic to a disease that is infectious or contagious, then we must therefore admit based on statistics alone that we currently have pandemics of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculous (TB) and more...

It is estimated that there are currently 7.8 billion people on the planet[3]. Currently cited pandemics include: HIV and AIDS (currently 36.7 million living with AIDS worldwide)[6], Influenza, Cholera, Typhus, Small Pox, Measles, Tuberculosis (in 2016, 10.4 million people infected)[7], and now in 2020-21 COVID-19. As stated all of these are infectious diseases, but what of the non-communicable diseases we have in our midst at this time in the world too?

As previously offered – should a pandemic also be an illness, disease or medical condition that is affecting large numbers of our population at any one time, irrespective of whether it can be ‘caught’ from another person or not.

If we apply this definition of pandemic to human health, then humanity is in poor shape and in the grip of not one but several pandemics – many of which are lifestyle related and hence could be entirely prevented if not treated should we choose to adopt a different way of living, eating, exercising and wellbeing.

Despite the advances of modern science and medicine and our knowledge of the human body, nutrition, pharmacology and health, we are facing pandemics never witnessed or experienced on such a vast scale as we have come to see in the last 30-40 years.

Humanity now has a new wave of global pandemic – that of non-communicable illness and disease.

These pandemics include but are not limited to:

  • Obesity – One of today’s most blatantly visible and currently escalating, yet most neglected public health problems. ‘Globesity’ is taking over many parts of the world[8].

  • Cancer – There are an estimated 15 million new cases globally of cancer each year[9], which is slightly less than the number of people currently living in Somalia[14], accounting for 1 in every 7 deaths worldwide[10].

  • Diabetes – The number of people globally with diabetes was 422 million in 2014[10], almost equivalent to the populations of Brazil and Pakistan put together[14] and continues to rise. In fact, if we were to put all the people with diabetes and prediabetes together they become the World’s third largest nation!

  • Dementia – The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 47 million[12]; that is almost equivalent to the number of people living in Spain[14].

  • Depression – Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression[13], which is almost equivalent to the number of people living in Russia and Bangladesh[14].

  • Cardiovascular Diseases – An estimated 17.7 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths[15]; this equates to almost the entire population of Zambia[14].

This list could go on and on, but hopefully by now you are starting to get the picture.

If you total up the numbers here just in these six non-communicable diseases – obesity, cancer, diabetes, dementia, depression, and cardiovascular disease – it adds up to well over 1 billion people. A billion people . . . that is huge, especially if you consider that Covid-19 is estimated to have impacted 84 million people and is making news headlines not just daily but hourly. Why is it then with a billion people sick with obesity, cancer, diabetes, dementia, depression and cardiovascular disease, that these things are not grabbing headlines and are seen as part of our modern life?

What are these statistics telling us, what do they mean, what do they represent? These numbers, which may be blowing your mind, are people – Mums, Dads, Husbands, Wives, Friends, Siblings, Co-workers, people you pass in the street – people just like you. People suffering ill health on a mass scale. Yet, no news headlines, no outcry, no lockdowns or health directives to remove the apparently causative factors and seek prevention, like banning fast food, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes etc. Why is that? If we truly cared about the health and wellbeing of our nations and global society, surely we would put in place restrictions and regulations to ensure we beat these horrific pandemics that people have to live and suffer with for a significant part of their existence.

That said, why is it then that we continue to live in this so called modern day world with improved sanitation, utilities, technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, research and education, and yet these considerable numbers of people with illness and disease continue to rise? And whilst research is going on, as in the development of new pharmaceuticals, best treatment methods etc., why is it we don’t wonder what on earth is going on that we continue to be literally plagued by illness and disease as a global burden?

Even those investigating and researching and treating illness are themselves getting sick. Do we wonder why people who after years of studying the body and health and are entrusted with caring for and educating us about our health and wellbeing, themselves succumb to these diseases that could in all honesty be avoided with better lifestyle choices?

Could it be that because the scale of illness and disease in the world is so beyond our capacity to comprehend that it is easier to just gloss over these numbers and not truly connect to what is happening to us as a one human race? That until it is us or our loved ones with a diagnosis that it doesn’t really matter or have an impact?

Yet a huge impact these statistics do have, as it shows large amounts of our populace are living with severe, debilitating and life-threatening ailments – and this doesn’t even factor in the billions on our planet who suffer stress, poor sleep/insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, fatigue and low vitality. These pandemics of poor health cost our societies in lost workforce and manhours, medical bills, disability and welfare payments, but worse than this they rob us of the joy of living in a body that is fit, healthy and harmonious.

These numbers are not a secret or only given out to a select club – anyone could go look them up and find out the facts. The media could be reporting the numbers every day, just like they currently are with Covid-19, and they could and should be headline news and part of our discussions every day until we start to turn these pandemics around.

And yet, what is noticeable is how little we – as citizens of this world, on whose watch this planet and its state of humanity currently is – come together to consider why it is that the state of health of the world is this way.

If the trillions upon trillions of dollars spent on healthcare and the immense dedication of medical professionals are not turning around this devastating pattern of illness, then it must be considered that there is something missing.

There must be other factors at play that are contributing to the health mess we are in. And hence it must be up to us, all of us, in our conversations to start asking the questions and looking for the solutions; to start being honest as to what is really going on with our way of living and lifestyles that are leading to such ill health and suffering.

By bringing this level of examination and honesty we would begin to see that the way we are with ourselves and each other plays a part in our level of wellness; from the way we interact, express and communicate to how we live day-to-day, the choices we make and most importantly our inner quality or beingness.

We all know deep within how to live healthy lives – how to eat, exercise, rest etc. – so it is not a case that we are dumb and do not know what is best and how to prevent illness and disease. Yet, and this is hard hitting, it is more that we are unable to make or stick to the choices that support us to be in good health, even when we tell ourselves – ‘no more booze’, ‘that’s my last smoke’, ‘I’m going to lose weight, get fit, go to bed early’ etc. Why is it we can say ‘never again’, or ‘this is going to change’. and yet we can’t make it happen?

Consider this: we are not merely individuals but part of a whole (the human race), and that we are not only physical flesh and blood but also energetic beings that can connect and respond to energy, and that for us to respond to the source of energy that truly respects and evolves the being within, we must care for the body in a way that is true but also honours our energetic makeup.

If we could accept this as true then we would begin to see and acknowledge that we have a responsibility – not only to ourselves and our own bodies but to each other in how we live, as what we do to ourselves can and does impact another by virtue of the fact that we are interconnected, energetic beings.

Well ok – for some that may be too much to accept and digest and that is totally fine as we are not asking you to take what is presented here as gospel but to consider that this could be the case, and if so, then could energy and the energetic factor be the something that is missing when it comes to our health?

Our bodies can only operate correctly and harmoniously when fuelled with the right and only true energetic source – the energy of The Divine, God, The Soul or The Universe (these are all one and the same). Our body is designed to be obedient to its divine makeup; to be responsive to Oneness and Love.

When we live in a world devoid of love, resistant to truth and avoiding the fact we are far more than just what the eye can see, we are already diseased, well before we have symptoms or a diagnosis.

So, where do we go from here?

Are we willing to see that illness and disease and the epidemics and pandemics are the end physical results that are occurring because we have failed to see ourselves and life as energy first, humanness second? Are we willing to be open to the fact that we are hurting ourselves through our choices – our ways of living that are at odds with our natural way of being? Are we willing to consider that despite our best efforts to be healthy and make those lifestyle changes that we say we are going to make, that we choose to live in a way that is disharmonious to our natural divine God-given make up?

If we are willing to be open to the fact that there is more on offer, then here we are truly blessed, for our body is very honest: illness and disease is not a punishment or a failure of our body, it is a message. Our body gives us all the clues we need to live in accordance with a way of being that supports us to live in harmony and vitality with ourselves and one another. It is not that we do not know this or that we are lacking when it comes to taking care of our health, it is more a case that we have not been raised or supported by this model of life to know that there is a different way and then apply it.

It appears we have been kept in the dark and are blind to what is right there before our very eyes, despite the fact that our illness and disease statistics, now at pandemic proportions, have been screaming at us for some time that the way we are living currently is not it, that it is not working and it’s time to seek inwardly within our own being for the answers rather than relying on science, medicine, and our governing bodies to provide solutions – which without factoring in energy will be nothing more than a band-aid over a gaping wound that can only heal by making life about love first.


References:

  • [1]

    https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-a-Pandemic.aspx

  • [2]

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-diseases/the-plague/

  • [3]

    https://www.prb.org/2020-world-population-data-sheet/

  • [4]

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4245042/great-plague-of-london-black-death-bubonic-symptoms-epidemic/

  • [5]

    https://www.livescience.com/40003-plague-still-afflicts-world.html

  • [6]

    https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/global-statistics

  • [7]

    https://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/default.htm

  • [8]

    http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/obesity/en/

  • [9]

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/worldwide-cancer

  • [10]

    https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and-figures-2017.pdf

  • [11]

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/

  • [12]

    http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/dementia/en/

  • [13]

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

  • [14]

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

  • [15]

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/

  • [16]

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

  • [17]

    https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)

Filed under

Health conditionsMedicine

  • By Jane Keep, Healthcare Manager

  • By Dr Rachel Hall, Dentist

    Dentist, business owner, writer, author and presenter. Family woman, guitarist, photographer, passionate about health, wellbeing and community. Lover of Vietnamese food, fast cars, social media, café culture and people.

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.