Lessons from this Pandemic

I’m speaking here from personal experience, research, and observation. I’m an elder,
a retired RN with over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of adult healthcare settings, have been a resident in an extended care facility for rehabilitation from a multitrauma head-on MVA, and early in this pandemic, had another near-death experience. It’s my opinion that those who have been or are in any healthcare facility represent all of us on a wider scale. It is even more poignant during this pandemic, as a simile to the coal miners’ canary in the cage.

In general, upon admission to any healthcare setting a person experiences various forms of depersonalization. You may have experienced it as well. There’s the armband, medication protocols,an established bathing schedule, monitoring of excretions for possible interventions, mealtime scheduling, perpetual unit noise, continuous blue night lights shining into your room, social isolation, and limited conversation with staff. There’s usually many asking the same questions, leaving as soon as they have answers to their checklists. It doesn’t take too long to realize what their expectations are of you and what, if you are compliant, you’re expected to do. Someone always has authority over some part of this scenario, and a majority of which is not you.

However, most of that scenario could be better. remedied, as can the 4 infamous co-morbidities (heart failure, COPD, diabetes and obesity), which underlines the initial wave of deaths from COVID-19. Flavored nutrient drinks and other processed foods, are laced with carbohydrates, vegetable oils, additives and preservatives. Those processed foods predispose a person to surpass an 8:1 Omega-6 ratio to Omega-3 fatty acids, causing an inflammatory cytokine imbalance. It is estimated that Americans average a 21:1 ratio in their diets. Persistent blue light exposure after Sunset influences changes in the circadian rhythm, causing reduced beneficial sleep and lowered immune responses. The PDR lists each pharmaceutical with its side effects, but does not recognize the interplay of complete medication profiles for duration of overlapping effects. A pharmaceutical has a half-life from hours to many days, however, under the best circumstances it will take 5.5 times that half-life to be cleared from the body. I’m certain you can recognize some cumulative effects from all of these.

Whether or not being institutionalized at some level, Americans participate remarkably in similar situations to what I have said here. We may also consider MRSA, opioid crisis, and climate changes as other examples with their own variabilities. Indeed, how much of these represent a matter of choice? Could it be that Pogo was correct? How have you been adapting to or reducing your participation in any of these trends?

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