Before you begin...
It’s no secret that human beings have adopted a lifestyle that doesn’t really take health into consideration, especially when we are talking about the large number of products that we choose to surround ourselves with on a daily basis, many of which have serious health concerns associated with them. What’s even more troubling is the fact that these products are still approved as safe by government agencies despite all of the evidence clearly showing serious cause for concern.
The list of concerning items can indeed be a long one, and again, when we are talking about disease, there is a general and growing consensus in the scientific community that many of these products are responsible for the exponential rise in various diseases that plague us today, including cancer.
--> Our Journalism Is Moving - Our investigative journalism and reporting is moving to our new brand called The Pulse. Click here to stay informed.
Here is a list of 10 things you should eliminate from your life for better health.
1. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are everywhere, and two of the most common ones are aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). These products have been linked to a number of diseases, such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease. They also promote obesity and disease by disrupting your intestinal microflora. (source)(source)(source)
One of the largest studies of its kind recently examined the link between diet drinks and cardiovascular issues, like heart attack and stroke, in healthy, postmenopausal women. The research took place at the University of Iowa, and the findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.
60,000 women participated in the study, and it found that women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day are 30 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event, and 50 percent more likely to die from a related disease. (source)
A study out of Arizona State University, published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, determined that Aspartame causes brain damage by leaving traces of Methanol in the blood (source). Another study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine determined that long-term consumption of Aspartame leads to an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain (source). Another study published by Washington University’s Medical School outlines a possible connection between aspartame and brain tumors. (source)
For more CE articles on Aspartame, please click here.
2. Electronic Devices
Electronic devices and the radiation emitted by them is everywhere. It’s not uncommon for people to engage in activities (like smoking) and then decades later, become aware of the consequences, and electronic devices like cell phones and WiFi signals are another great example.
This is what the world would look like if cell phone radiation was visible.
Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Colombia University, has joined a group of scientists from around the world who are making an international appeal to the United Nations regarding the dangers associated with the use of various electromagnetic emitting devices, like cell phones and WiFi.
Below is a video of him outlining the various dangers associated with these devices.
Multiple studies have revealed that cell phone radiation can cause cancer. Did you know that The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency fields (including those from cell phones) as a possible carcinogen in 2011 (source)? The dangers of cell phone use gained a lot of mainstream credibility in 2011 when the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that cell phone radiation may cause cancer. The statement was based off of a cumulative decision made by a team of 31 scientists, from 14 different countries, after reviewing evidence that suggested this to be the case. You can read more about that here.
We recently published an article titled A Pregnant Woman Eating Organic Vs. Eating Conventinal: It’s Time To Think About Your Baby.
In the article, we explain the difference between organic food and conventional food, as well as provide a number of sources and studies showing clear concern about the pesticides sprayed on our food and in the surrounding environment.
These chemicals have been linked to birth defects, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism and more. Using the Bradford Hill Criteria, the results of multiple studies indicate that we have nudged ourselves into quite the dilemma.
Again, you can find all of the health concerns that are associated with the chemicals sprayed on our food in the article linked above, and that doesn’t even include the environmental concerns.
This is precisely why multiple countries have completely banned these pesticides from being sprayed. In fact, 19 countries in Europe just banned Genetically Modified Crops from being grown in their country, and that includes the pesticides that go with them.
4. Personal Care Products
Unfortunately, many personal care products are a terrible idea, and putting these products on our skin makes absolutely no sense. For example, if we look at cancer, it’s caused by physical carcinogens, chemical carcinogens, and biological carcinogens, all of which we surround ourselves with on a daily basis, and all of which are in various personal care products, such as many deodorants.
We recently wrote an article on how to prevent breast cancer through an armpit detox. The article goes into detail about concerns with regard to aluminum, and how substances put on our skin do not take long to penetrate and find their way into the bloodstream.
When it comes to cosmetics, there are thousands upon thousands of chemicals that are “okayed” by corporate manufacturers, and considered safe. This is all that is needed; there is no approved regulatory process for these chemicals and the potential harm they may cause.
Again, chemicals are very effectively absorbed through your skin. For example, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a study to quantify how many sunscreen agents penetrate the skin after it is applied. The results demonstrated significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. We are talking about multiple chemicals entering multiple tissues within the body. (source)
When it comes to women, they tend to use several different products on a daily basis that can contribute to an overload of toxic chemicals. Make-up is a huge source for heavy metals. In the report Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals In Face Make-up, Environmental Defense tested 49 different make-up items, including foundations, concealers, powders, blushes, mascaras, eye liners, eye shadows, lipsticks and lip glosses. Their testing revealed serious heavy metal contamination in virtually all of their products.
- 96 percent contained lead
- 90 percent contained beryllium
- 61 percent contained thallium
- 51 percent contained cadmium
- 20 percent contained arsenic
The Environmental Working Group has a great database to help you find personal care products that are free of potentially dangerous chemicals. Better yet, simplify your routine and make your own products. A slew of lotions, potions, and hair treatments can be eliminated with a jar of coconut oil, for example, to which you can add a high quality essential oil to for scent.
5. Commercial Cleaning Products
Having commercial cleaning products in your home is not a smart idea. Combined with the rest of this list, it’s not hard to see how all of these products are associated with the dramatic rise in disease we’ve seen over the past few decades.
We’ve covered this topic before, and outlined why these products are dangerous and what alternatives you can use instead. Why We All Need To Stop Cleaning With Bleach is a great example, so check it out if you’re interested to see where we are coming from.
Alternatives include baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, liquid castile soap, organic essential oils, mixing bowls, spray bottles, microfiber clothes and more.
Why is it that these products could be manufactured to be much less hazardous, and in some cases cheaper, but aren’t? It’s not hard to see why so many people believe that these corporations have no problem in contributing to the decline of human health. A scary thought? Yes, but there are things to do and preventative measures/ lifestyle changes you can make.
We are always talking about raising money and finding a cure for cancer, without a word mentioned regarding cancer prevention.
6. Air Fresheners
When it comes to health, air fresheners are probably some of the worst products you can have in your home. These commonly contain 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP), a metabolite of 1.4 dichlorobenzene. This stuff is present in the blood of nearly all Americans, has been linked to lung damage, and has been known to cause organ system toxicity. (source)
“Air fresheners have become a staple in many American homes and offices, marketed with the promise of creating a clean, healthy, and sweet-smelling indoor atmosphere. But many of these products contain phthalates (pronounced thal-ates) – hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems. NRDC’s independent testing of 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, uncovered these chemicals in 86 percent (12 of 14) of the products tested, including those advertised as “all natural” or “unscented.” – National Resources Defense Council (source)
7. Plastic Food Containers & Bottles
Not long ago, German researchers discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 different popular bottled water products. Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system, they can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders and as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders. (source)
There are other concerns, most notably bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates.
Here are some related CE articles on that topic with more information in them:
Your best bet here is to avoid plastic containers, and replace them with glass bottles and containers. It would be wise to choose glass baby bottles as well.
8. Avoid Processed Meats
Apart from the obvious heart-breaking treatment, abuse and murder of billions of animals raised for slaughter every year, The World Health Organization recently linked processed meats to cancer, and recommended reducing processed meat intake to reduce the chances of contracting cancer. (source)
“Eating processed meat such as sausage and bacon can cause cancer in humans, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency says. Monday’s official designation from the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, places processed meat in the Group 1 list as “carcinogenic to humans.” The agency said it based the classification on sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.” (source)
This came after years of multiple researchers making this link. Whether you believe it or not, or don’t see it as alarming, the fact remains: reducing your meat intake (specifically processed meat intake) is a great path towards a healthier life.
In fact, some experts are suggesting that going completely meat-free is a better option for those looking to optimize their health.
“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” – Harvard Medical School (source)
It’s important to note that a very high and alarming percentage of Americans eat hardly any vegetables whatsoever. According to the Wall Street Journal in 2011, approximately 80% of Americans who ate meat rarely consumed vegetables at all. (source)
The American Dietetic Association weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009) (source)
If you’re going to eat meat, it’s best to make sure it is from an organic, free range grass-fed source.
9. Sitting In Your Chair
There’s a growing amount of research revealing that sitting in your chair (something many of us do at work, school, etc.) could have some quite dramatic consequences on your health. Prolonged sitting has been tied to a pre-curser for chronic disease and early death, even if you exercise regularly and are in good shape.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that prolonged sitting can increase your risk of lung cancer by 50 percent (source). It’s also been found to increase your risk of death in relation to several health problems. (source)
10. Stress & Negativity
Science is starting to catch on to the idea that how you feel can directly alter your genetic expression. It’s not just the environment that your genes respond to, it’s also your conscious thoughts, emotions, and unconscious beliefs. Emotions can regulate genetic expression, and a great book recommendation to find out more about that is called The Biology of Belief & Spontaneous Evolution, written by cellular biologist Bruce Lipton.
Researchers at the HeartMath Institute are showing the same findings. They show how emotional information is actually coded and modulated into the heart’s electromagnetic field. They show that by shifting our emotions, we can change the information that is coded into these magnetic fields. Their research also sheds light on the fact that different emotional states are responsbile for creating different brain states. You can read more about that in an article we recently published here.
Furthermore, findings in quantum physics are showing how factors associated with consciousness can and do indeed have some sort of affect on our physical material world. You can find out more about that here.
There is also the case of neuroplasticity, which is the idea that the brain is changeable, adaptable, and malleable. It shows how the brain can change its structure by how we perceive the world around us.
“Human thoughts and learning actually turn on certain genes in our nerve cells which allow those cells to make new connections between them.” –Dr. Norman Doidge, MD, author of The Brain That Changes Itself (source)
There is also the idea of distant healing:
“Over the past thirty years, significant scientific research has been conducted on the potential effectiveness and value of distant healing practices. The practice of distant healing is drawing increased attention as an important component of integral medicine models that blend a range of approaches to health and healing. Many leading health professionals and spiritual leaders believe distant healing practices may significantly expand the capacity to facilitate healing.” (source) – Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, President of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS)
You can view some of this research here.
Emotions and the way you feel are a huge part with regard to your overall health
Remember those milk commercials you used to see as a kid, claiming that milk “does the body good”? It turns out that might not be true at all. In fact, it could be the complete opposite. New evidence continues to emerge suggesting that drinking milk from a cow is not really natural, and not really good nor necessary for us at all. It’s not a coincidence that approximately 65 to 75 percent of the total human population on our planet have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. In some countries, more than 90 percent of the adult population is lactose intolerant.
For more information on this section and why we believe giving up dairy products is a good call, you can refer to to this article we recently published:
Meat In General
There are several concerns that’ve been raised within the past few years regarding eating meat and human health. It’s well established in scientific literature that a meat-free diet, when done correctly, offers tremendous health benefits. The notion that meat is necessary for human health is a myth that continues to pervade popular culture, but public perception is slowly shifting, and new research is showing that those we closely genetically resemble from our past did not exclusively (or even predominantly) eat meat.
See article: New Information Has Some Experts Wondering If ‘Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians
That being said I do believe our genetic connection to those who roamed the Earth in the past is a topic that’s still not well understood, and there is still a lot of information and factors to consider that aren’t really considered, but that’s another topic.
We’ve outlined multiple times why we have this stance on meat eating. Apart from our animal cruelty articles you can find on our site, we go into more detail in with this article:
Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!
3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic
- 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...
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
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.
Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!
Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D
- 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...
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.
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.
Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!
Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)
- 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...
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.
To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.
Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!
Full Moon In Aquarius: Rationality & Seriousness
We are having a Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23rd/24th. It will appear the brightest on the night of...
Pfizer & Moderna Fail To Respond To British Medical Journal About COVID Vaccine Safety Concerns
An article published in the British Medical Journal by Dr. Peter Doshi titled “Covid-19 Vaccines: In The Rush for Regulatory...