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These Popular Antibiotics Are Prescribed To Millions Every Year & They Have Detrimental Effects. Everyone Needs To Be Aware Of This

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It’s Worse Than You Know

In a May, 2014 letter to the U.S. Senate, Doctor Jay S. Cohen said of fluoroquinolones, “In my 40+ years in pharmacovigilance, FQs (fluoroquinolones) surpass Vioxx and Thalidomide in the degree of permanent harm done.”  Let that sink in for a bit.

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Fluoroquinolones – cipro/ciprofloxacin, levaquin/levofloxacin, avelox/moxifloxacin and floxin/ofloxacin – drugs that are seen as simple antibiotics (though they do severe cellular harm and are more appropriate for use as chemotherapy drugs), that are prescribed more than 20 million times per year in the U.S. alone – are doing more harm than Vioxx – a drug that led to more than 140,000 American heart attacks, and Thalidomide – a drug that has caused birth-defects and deaths of thousands of children world-wide.

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Vioxx has been removed from the market, and the use of Thalidomide is severely restricted.  Fluoroquinolones, on the other hand, are prescribed with abandon, despite the fact that hundreds of studies have shown that they do severe cellular damage and thousands of patients have filed reports with the FDA noting that a variety of severe health problems have been experienced after taking a fluoroquinolone.

Transgenerational Side-Effects

I have argued that fluoroquinolones have transgenerational ill effects and that children are suffering because of the epigenetic effects of fluoroquinolones (HERE and HERE).  I have never hoped to be wrong about anything more than my assertions that fluoroquinolones are related to autism, but the possibility exists – because we really don’t know what the transgenerational effects of microbiome destruction and depletion of mitochondrial DNA are – and fluoroquinolones do, indeed, both obliterate the microbiome and deplete the only non-redundant form of DNA that we have – mitochondrial DNA.  (1)

Direct Damage Done by Fluoroquinolones

There are certainly plenty of direct victims of fluoroquinolones, even if indirect/transgenerational effects are not considered.  As Doctor Cohen noted, the degree of permanent harm done by them is horrifying.  Fluoroquinolones destroy musculoskeletal tissue (tendons, cartilage, bone, muscle, etc.) throughout the body (2), damage the nervous systems (central, peripheral and autonomic), and more.  Fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome mimics autoimmune diseases (including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, etc.), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E., autonomic nervous system diseases (like POTS), leaky gut syndrome and even psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and severe depression.

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If someone with some resources would do a proper epidemiological study that takes the tolerance thresholds for fluoroquinolones (people typically don’t react to their first dose – they only react once their threshold for mitochondrial damage is crossed) and delayed reactions (the “vicious cycle” of mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress makes it so that damage is accelerated as time goes on – and thus delayed severe reactions are common) into account, perhaps the connection would be made between fluoroquinolones – drugs that not only deplete mitochondrial DNA but also destroy the microbiome and lead to adverse gene expression – and the chronic “mysterious” diseases that have been on the rise since the introduction of cipro on the market by Bayer in 1983. (Of course, fluoroquinolones are not the only cause of these diseases – fluoroquinolones are just one category of pharmaceuticals that damage mitochondria and lead to oxidative stress.  Other pharmaceuticals do the same.  But the harm done by fluoroquinolones specifically and pharmaceuticals generally, and the role that they play in these diseases, is horribly under-recognized.)

When the Cellular Damage Done is Realized

Once people realize that a pharmaceutical, a popular antibiotic no less, has done damage to their mitochondrial DNA, and has led to harm in them and their children, I hope that all of the top executives at Bayer (makers of cipro and avelox) and Johnson & Johnson (makers of levaquin) are put on trial.  Causing people to be chronically ill is bad enough – but people seem to let pharmaceutical companies off the hook when they do it.  Damaging our DNA – DNA that has been adapted and perfected over billions of years – is trial-worthy.

When the top Bayer and J&J executives and scientists are confronted about the damage that their drugs did, they will likely say that they didn’t know – they had no idea that their “antibiotics” (they’re chemo drugs) were so harmful.

This is what should be said to them in return –

“What did you think was going to happen? What did you think would happen in a person’s body when the DNA of the bacteria in their microbiome was unraveled? (3)  

What did you think would happen when their mitochondrial DNA was depleted?  Did it not occur to you that mitochondria are ancient bacterium and that when you interfere with the replication process for bacterial DNA, you do the same thing to mitochondrial DNA? (4)

What did you think would happen when your drugs depleted magnesium and iron from a patient’s cells? (5 6) 

What did you think would happen when you killed all of the good bacteria in a patient’s gut?  What did you think would happen when your drugs triggered a massive amount of oxidative stress to be inflicted in your patient’s body? (7 8 9)

What did you think would happen when you depleted all of their antioxidants? (10)

 What did you think would happen when your drugs caused chromosomal aberrations in immune system cells? (11)

What did you think would happen when you gave chemo drugs to your patients who have a simple infection, not cancer? (12)

Did you think that it wouldn’t damage them?  Or did you know that fluoroquinolones would do severe cellular damage, but you just didn’t care?  Did you mistake a tolerance threshold for mitochondrial damage (13) for safety?  Or did you know that these were the perfect drugs – chemo drugs disguised as antibiotics that induce chronic, multi-symptom illness – and that with these drugs you could make customers for life?”

Willful Ignorance

At best, the top executives and scientists at Bayer and Johnson & Johnson didn’t think.  They didn’t consider the fact that fluoroquinolones are topoisomerase inhibitors – and that they work by dismantling and adducting to DNA – as opposed to disrupting cell walls like innocuous antibiotics such as penicillin or cephalosporins.  If one is to give them far more credit than they deserve, maybe there is the possibility that they didn’t make the connections.  Maybe they didn’t notice that many of the chronic diseases of modernity that fluoroquinolone toxicity mimics – fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. – have gone up along with the use of fluoroquinolones (and other mitochondria damaging drugs).  Maybe they let denial of mitochondrial damage, delayed reactions and tolerance thresholds protect their precious egos and shareholders.  But neither denial nor willful ignorance are legitimate excuses.  They never have been, and they never will be.  The top executives and scientists at Bayer and J&J, along with those at the FDA, should have known how dangerous and damaging fluoroquinolones are.

The Connections

The connection is not difficult to make.  Pharmaceuticals damage mitochondria (they’re vulnerable little organelles that also happen to be quite important).  Damaged mitochondria produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) which is also known as oxidative stress.  ROS / oxidative stress is associated with (by “associated with” I mean causes, but shhhh, you can’t say that while being scientific) every single chronic disease there is – including, but not limited to; Alzheimer’s (14) , Parkinson’s (15), chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E. (16), fibromyalgia (17), Gulf War Syndrome (18), autism (19), many psychiatric diseases (20), etc.  Of course, the details of how pharmaceuticals damage mitochondria and how oxidative stress leads to those diseases is incredibly complicated, but the top scientists and executives at Bayer and J&J, and the “regulators” at the FDA, should be smart enough to read the source documents listed below and to know that the drugs that they produce/approve are dangerous.

After all, it was stated in 1992 that:

“the interaction (of fluoroquinolones) with DNA is still of great concern because of the possible long-term genotoxicity of quinolone compounds, which are increasingly adopted as first-choice antibiotics for the treatment of many infections, and because it addresses the real mechanism of action of this class of molecules.” (5)

Paying attention to how pharmaceuticals interact with DNA is probably a good idea.

Many pharmaceuticals damage mitochondria.  Not all of them interrupt the production of enzymes that are vital for the replication and transcription of DNA though.  Fluoroquiolones do.  They also form poisonous metabolites (thanks carboxylic acid molecule!) (21) and leach all of the magnesium (22) and iron out of cells.  It’s not exactly fun to go through.  Fluoroquinolones are damaging people – on a cellular level – severely – and because of delayed reactions, tolerance thresholds and ignorance of everyone in the medical system, victims have no idea what hit them.

People are Sick – Pharma Companies Should be Held Responsible for Their Role

People are sick. They are chronically ill and are suffering.  Neither doctors nor anyone in the pharmaceutical industry have any idea how to put them back together again.  Doctors have no idea how to help those suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome or any other chronic “mysterious” disease. They don’t even know how to administer the correct tests to give them an accurate diagnosis.  So they blame the patients – for their diet or lifestyle or pain. But the patients are not to blame.  The drugs are to blame.

The people who make, sell, and fail to regulate these drugs are to blame.  They should be held accountable.

A Brilliant TED Talk About Willful Blindness –

 

Numbered sources:

  1. Molecular Pharmacology, “Delayed Cytotocicity and Cleavage of Mitochondrial DNA in Ciprofloxacin Treated Mammalian Cells
  2. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM & R) “Musculoskeletal Complications of Fluoroquinolones: Guidelines and Precautions for Usage in the Athletic Population
  3. Mechanisms in Medicine, video, “Fluoroquinolones: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance
  4. PNAS, “Origin of mitochondria in relation to evolutionary history of eukaryotic alanyl-tRNA synthetase
  5. PNAS, Biochemistry, “Quinolone Binding to DNA Mediated by Magnesium Ions
  6. Turkish Journal of Hemotology, “Ciprofloxacin: A Novel Therapeutic Agent for Iron Overload?
  7. Science Translational Medicine, “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells
  8. Journal of Young Pharmacists, “Oxidative Stress Induced by Fluoroquinolones on Treatment for Complicated Urinary Tract Infections in Indian Patients
  9. Chemistry and Biology, “Trovofloxacin, a Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic with Hepototoxic Potential, Causes Mitochondrial Peroxinitrate Stress in a Mouse Model of Underlying Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  10. Molecular Neurobiology, “The Glutathione System: A New Drug Target in Neuroimmune Disorders.”
  11. Nepal Medical College Journal, “Genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of antibacterial drug, ciprofloxacin, on human lymphocytes in vitro
  12. Current Medicinal Chemistry, “Recent Advances in the Discovery and Development of Quinolones and Analogs as Antitumor Agents
  13. Molecular Interventions, “Mechanisms of Pathogenesis in Drug Hepatoxicity Putting the Stress on Mitochondria
  14. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, “Oxidative Stress Hypothesis in Alzheimer’s Disease
  15. Neuroscience Bulletin, “Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease: oxidative stress, environmental impact factors and inflammatory processes
  16. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, “Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction
  17. Muscle & Nerve, “Mitochondrial myopathy mimicking fibromyalgia syndrome.”
  18. Nature Preceedings, “Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Injury in Chronic Multisymptom Conditions: From Gulf War Illness to Autism Spectrum Disorder
  19. Frontiers in Physiology, “Evidence linking oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation in the brain of individuals with autism
  20. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, “Lipid Peroxidation in Psychiatric Illness: Overview of Clinical Evidence
  21. Expert opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology, “Metabolic activation of carboxylic acids.”
  22. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Magnesium deficiency induces joint cartilage lesions in juvenile rats which are identical to quinolone-induced arthropathy.”

More Information:  Information about Fluoroquinolones and Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome can be found on the author’s web sites, www.floxiehope.com and www.fqwallofpain.com.

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Awareness

Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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