A report on the Covid-19 pandemic as of 19:00 GMT on Saturday, 4 April 2020.
Clean water is the elixir of life – as essential for keeping clean as for drinking. Its shortage during the covid-19 pandemic is putting more than half of the global population at risk.
Disease and pollution have long been linked in people’s minds. The word “malaria” means “bad air” in Italian.
Wars bring societies together. Plagues pull them apart.
The Great War was grinding to an end. Nearly 20 million were dead over the past 4 years. Then a new killer arrived.
Influenza outbreaks are often seasonal – but their seasons vary. Whether Covid-19 has a season is uncertain.
The foot is a critical organ in locomotion. So often shoes give a foot protection, but no respect.
For decades, corporations have been promoting foods from genetically modified organisms (GMO) as a way to enhance their profits and garner monopoly power. GMO proponents claim that genetic modifications promise food abundance safely. History has already shown otherwise.
Awareness that chlorinating water kills pathogens dates to the mid-19th century. Only recently has the discovery been made that chlorination creates toxic byproducts.
Sitting can be too comfortable. How, and how long, you sit have health implications.
Breathing through the nose is yogic.
For our muscles to stay in shape, we must exercise them. Rodents face a similar situation. But the need for physical exercise to stay fit is not the norm among animals.
Studies in the UK and US found declines in the nutritional quality of commercial produce since the mid-20th century, when agriculture became more industrialized in the wake of the so-called Green Revolution.
Milk is a mammal’s first food. Mother’s milk is the natural diet of infants. Breast feeding confers health benefits that last a lifetime. Beyond infancy, and aside from mother’s milk, the bodily damage from milk exceeds its nutritional benefit.
2.8 million Americans are sickened by antibiotic-resistant pathogens each year. 35,000 die for lack of effective treatment. Meanwhile, companies doing their best to develop effective new drugs are going bankrupt. The situation illustrates one way in which capitalism is misaligned with the well-being of society.
There is a correlation between physical fitness and mental acuity as we age. To stay keen, stay lean.
Viruses are wily. Measles is especially virulent because it erases the body’s defense system memory.
The English term germ emerged from the French germe in the 1640s, which evolved from germen in Latin, meaning a biological genesis, as with seeds and buds. A germ as a “seed of a disease” was planted in English in 1796; that of harmful microbe in 1871. A century and a half later, germs are found winning against those who would label them as such.
Common folklore has houseplants able to freshen and oxygenate the air. Alas, not so much.
The term “patient zero” as the original victim of an epidemic originated from a misunderstanding.
Living well is a discipline. The necessary physical discipline is frequent exercise and eating less than the body wants. The alternative is suffering from the sin of sloth in later years.
Foremost, living well is the craft of managing the mind. That craft involves playing the right concepts wabi-sabi style: discarding whatever is not useful or beautiful.
The slimy, hydrated gel called mucus lines all wet epithelia in our bodies – over 200 square meters, including the eyes, lungs, and gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. Healthy individuals produce several liters of mucus daily. Mucus was long thought merely a lubricant and physical barrier against pathogens. Mucus also acts as a communication filtering device to potentially nefarious microbes.
Researchers recently discovered that nearly 400 routine medical practices were quackery. By that count, 10% of medical advice is wrong. The tally is much higher.
It has long been known that eating red meat engenders cardiovascular disease. The tasty fat marbled in the meat has long been pointed to as the villain, as has cholesterol. That turns out be a subplot in the story, though consuming animal fat is unhealthy, and the wrong kind of cholesterol does damage. Instead, carnitine is the culprit.