Snake oil sales

The first fifth of the twenty first century has almost passed and still we have snake oil salesmen peddling hope. My doctor is a much younger man and during conversation I mentioned I had had measles. He knew of the deadly virus but hadn’t had a case in his lengthy service so he was interested to know of my experience. I remember nothing much of the inconvenience now except my sister Margaret and I both presented a problem for our grandparents when we were infected. It was the school holidays and we were holidaying with them. We were both isolated into darkened rooms while we healed because the virus can cause death or blindness. I vaguely remember being delirious but my clearest memory is of being a rotten patient while I waited for the rash to go. Oh, and I remember how I hated the sounds of the bronze wing pigeons that cooed outside.

Since 1963 a simple inoculation has existed to prevent the spread of this disease and until recently it was almost eliminated saving the lives of thousands of kids from the virus. Before it was discovered a new epidemic occurred about every two years. In 2019 it has reappeared across the globe as an epidemic possibly because world unrest has displaced many millions of people this century. It has also reappeared because too many people have been frightened off inoculation programs by fear mongers who claim inoculation causes autism. Whole swathes of people have turned their backs on modern science and refused help. (Modern science has eliminated many horrid former illnesses. TB, whooping cough, measles, whatever. The list is long.) As it is many, if not most, preventable diseases are prevalent in all corners of the globe again and it is hard to understand.

Fear and complacency seem to be common companions. Anyone visiting a modern pharmacy must be surprised illness exists. The secure area is packed with pills potions and remedies for almost every complaint. Throughout the day prescriptions are filled non stop, but this is not where the pharmacies make money. Oh no. On the floor patients help themselves to shelves of alternate medicines. Many of these are supposedly preventative medicines for the diseases the chemists spend their days dispensing drugs. Most of them are untested and certainly unproved.

If pharmacies are busy they have expanded their business model to now offer warehouses filled with dietary supplements. The benefits are manifold, they can add to your muscle bulk, reduce your weight, develop eyesight, or fix your stomach biome. The more you spend the healthier you will become. You will know what to buy when you visit because any number of celebrities will have given you the benefits you can get from Swisse, Blackmore, or Wagner when you watch TV or enter a Social media site. I know this because former cricket captain, Michael Clarke, told me so. Or ….. anyone who has kicked a football, bounced any other kind of ball, or skied down a mountain, or swum the length of a pool knows. They know so much about diet and health from their training resume they need no formal training. Trust them.

Be aware! On no account should one consume a prescribed pill or drug without consulting a neighbour, a magazine or a social media site for they know. They know because science is not to be trusted. Even scientists know this because they will advise, “this is good to the best of my knowledge until someone discovers something better”. The same is not true of the unproven stuff it works. Why? Because I was told.

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