How Safe Are You?

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Unfortunately, I had to make a second trip to the hospital this past week — a reoccurrence (sort of) of the problem I dealt with back in June. This time there were signs of infection so the recoup time has been a bit longer. Nevertheless, the old body is slowly bouncing back and I should be back to full-tilt very soon.

Of course then I will –once AGAIN!– have to deal with the financial pains. 😖

Anyway, the message of this post is not about me, but rather something I wonder how many others have thought about.

As has been covered ad nauseum in the news, as well as on the internet, many refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated against COVID-19. OK. I’m not going to rehash the pros and cons … or offer my input on the degree of stupidity involved.

Rather, I’d like to comment on something that I don’t think many have considered. I know I didn’t.

It’s been pointed out that many healthcare providers –including hospital workers– have been on the “Anti” bandwagon. Yes, they’re required to wear masks during their working hours, but as a hospital inpatient, how does one know if the people who are tending to your needs have taken that extra precautionary step and been vaccinated? In other words, are you truly safe as they push needles, take readings, help you down the hallway to the “loo,” etc? 

I’m fully vaccinated and I do have trust in the viability of this action. However, in a hospital situation with “Anti” folks looking after you — and where one’s overall health is/may be compromised — do the chances of a breakthrough infection increase? Certainly, the hospital environment is believed to be comparatively “risk free,” but considering it is the people who are tending to your needs, how safe are you … really?

Why Obesity?

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Do you believe that obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended? If you do, then you’re in agreement with the long standing conclusion of obesity science, which revolves around the balance principle, i.e., “People get fat because they take in more calories than they expend. They stay lean when they don’t.”

Or perhaps you might agree with the philosophy that was popular in the decades between the World Wars that … “some people are born predisposed to accumulate excess fat just as some are predestined to grow tall.”

According to this article, you would be mistaken on both counts. 

The article author writes that he would have agreed with the balance principle “if the prevalence of obesity had not risen relentlessly for the past half century — along with type 2 diabetes” to the extent that is has become the dominant non-Covid health crisis of our time. 

That’s why he and 16 other academic researchers put together a report in September 2021 entitled, The carbohydrate-insulin model: a physiological perspective on the obesity pandemic. In the Abstract of the report it is noted thus:

According to a commonly held view, the obesity pandemic is caused by overconsumption of modern, highly palatable, energy-dense processed foods, exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle. However, obesity rates remain at historic highs, despite a persistent focus on eating less and moving more, as guided by the energy balance model (EBM). Conceptualizing obesity as a disorder of energy balance restates a principle of physics without considering the biological mechanisms that promote weight gain. An alternative paradigm, the carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM), proposes a reversal of causal direction.

(NOTE: At the time of this blog post, only the abstract is available.) 

These researchers argue that the energy-in/energy-out conception of weight regulation is fatally, tragically flawed … that obesity is not an energy balance disorder, but a hormonal or constitutional disorder.

In other words, “people don’t get fat because they eat too much, consuming more calories than they expend, but because the carbohydrates in their diets — both the quantity of carbohydrates and their quality — establish a hormonal milieu that fosters the accumulation of excess fat.”

As many have noted, along with the article’s author, obesity in the U.S. has risen over the past several years. In fact, more than 40% of Americans live with it today as compared to 12% sixty years ago. What has caused this dramatic rise? Is it nature or nurture? Is it behavior or physiology? 

Another website related to this topic asks the question: “Is Obesity a Disease?” and provides some Pro and Con arguments where …

Proponents contend that obesity is a disease because it meets the definition of disease; it decreases life expectancy and impairs the normal functioning of the body; and it can be caused by genetic factors.

Opponents contend that obesity is not a disease because it is a preventable risk factor for other diseases; is the result of eating too much; and is caused by exercising too little.

And finally, this article provides a look at 10 foods that overweight people regularly eat.

If you are one of the fortunate individuals who has never experienced problems with weight gain, then none of this information may be relevant. But since statistics indicate MANY people do have regular battles with the bathroom scales, such information may very well be eye-opening.

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Image by Memed_Nurrohmad from Pixabay

An Opportunity to Commiserate

This post is dedicated to those of you who are finding it more and more difficult to deal with current events. Actually, I think we are ALL experiencing the stress of what’s going on in our world right now.

In any event, I thought it might be helpful to offer my blog as a sounding board where you can just let it all hang out.

I don’t know about you, but my circuits have been experiencing overload. I’ve noticed an increase in stress symptoms. My sleep patterns are getting more and more wacky. My jaw muscles hurt from grinding my teeth at night. I seem more susceptible to seasonal allergies.

It’s gotten so I dread reading or listening to COVID-19 news … yet I can’t stop myself. I ordinarily love reading blogs, but so many are focused on the state of disarray we’re all experiencing they end up adding to my discomfort.

(Yes, I know. My own blog posts are not exempt.)

My other-half and I have always enjoyed going out for cocktails and a nice dinner; however due to him being high-risk, we simply cannot justify taking the chance — no matter how many precautions the restaurant has taken. Home cooking is fine, but it does get boring after awhile. We have, on occasion, taken advantage of take-out, but dinner served in a Styrofoam container just isn’t the same.

Each summer we have looked forward to traveling in our motorhome, but this year we’ve had to cancel our planned trips. Neither of us are “into” outdoor activities, sightseeing by car has its limits, and souvenir shopping would be risky. What this means is we would end up spending our days trapped inside our RV … and believe me, that gets old in a hurry!

So now it’s your turn. What’s going on with you and yours? How are you holding up? Please feel free to use this post as a sounding board. Hopefully, sharing your experiences with others will alleviate some of the pressure and frustration we’ve all been experiencing.

I do request that everyone limit their comments to personal experiences and circumstances and avoid any “political” type discussions (e.g., mask or no mask). In other words, this is not the place to argue your POV on what’s going on in the world.

OK! Let the commiseration begin …

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Image by Justin Martin from Pixabay

What If?

 

This is a question I recently came across on Quora: What would happen if Trump actually has the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia and is elected?

The person who answered the question stated he has family members who suffer from both. He said the following are things he has observed that might lead to that conclusion:

  • Two handed water drinking on stage (mild Parkinson’s or ET tremors?)
  • Inability to follow a subject–not so much from lack of interest but loss of comprehension of the subject.
  • Inability to formulate words and sentence structure.
  • Lack of attention when he’s with foreign leaders (more like he just isn’t there).

On that last observation, the writer refers to his family members and says, “It’s like their soul just vacates for a time.”

He also mentioned the reports that Trump often gets up and goes to another room and watches television during policy discussions.

I agree there are times when Trump doesn’t look well. His eyes are nearly closed, his speech is extremely slow and deliberate, and he constantly repeats himself. Yet when he’s before his supporters, his energy level is high–almost manically so. (Perhaps these too are “signs?”)

There are other instances when Trump appears totally normal. He’s coherent, upbeat, and speaks with enthusiasm and clarity.

So what are we to think? Since most of us aren’t qualified in the mental health field (except perhaps “Professor Taboo”), we can only go by our “gut” as to what’s really happening.

In any case, it is definitely worrisome — and even more so if we find ourselves under his leadership for another four years.

It’s All About the Stock Market

In Heather Cox Richardson’s latest newsletter (2/14/20), she quotes one of Trump’s recent tweets related to the coronavirus. It truly and totally pinpoints not his concern for the health of the American people, but his personal interest, concern, involvement in, and anxiety about … the state of the Stock Market!

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

As Heather points out, it appears the only reason he has even acknowledged the crisis is because of its growing impact on the economy which, as we all know, is a VERY important part of his re-election campaign.

As most intelligent people recognize, the coronavirus outbreak and spread is becoming a very real concern to the entire world. The geographical location of the United States has provided us somewhat of a buffer, but the state of world travel in today’s climate is bringing it closer and closer to our personal doorsteps.

And yet … to Trump, it’s all about the Stock Market!

And re-election.

And control.

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Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay