Definitions matter.
@WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Is "COMPLETE" health a realistic expectation?
Does it lead to irrealistic strategies like #ZeroCovid?
1/n
bmj.com/content/343/bm…
You can access the paper here.
sci-hub.se/https://doi.or…
2/n
Aiming for 'COMPLETE' has its own ills.
1)"medicalisation of society"=>MASS testing
"New screening technologies detect abnormalities at levels that might never cause illness and pharmaceutical companies produce drugs for “conditions” not previously defined as health problems."3/n
"New screening technologies detect abnormalities at levels that might never cause illness and pharmaceutical companies produce drugs for “conditions” not previously defined as health problems." 4/n
PCR tests are so sensitive they can detect small sequences of RNA even as a dead virus leading to a false positive result where the person is not really sick. 5/n
"Thresholds for intervention tend to be lowered...[leading] to large groups of people becoming eligible for screening or for expensive interventions even when only one person might benefit" => using erroneous strategies: testing individuals without symptoms 6/n
2) "WHO definition becomes counterproductive as it declares people with chronic diseases and disabilities definitively ill."
Anyone with a (+) PCR test is declared a case and considered sick and if death ensues for any reason, it is counted as a COVID death - inflating deaths 7/n
3) How is 'COMPLETE' health measured?
At which point, people who recover from COVID are considered healthy? Does everyone suffer from Long COVID? Do they have long-term immunity? Can they be reinfected? At which point you are no longer a threat to others? 8/n
A new conceptual framework states that health is “the ability to adapt and to self-manage.”
Based on this framework, we must adapt to the presence of a new virus in our environment & learn to live with it. 9/n
The principal of self-management puts the responsibility of decision-making on the individual.
Umbrella strategies have no place in need-based approaches.
Strategies of suppression and elimination are in opposition to adaptation and thus are not sustainable or realistic. 10/n
"communication with patients ... focuses on [the] empowerment of the patient (for example, by changing a lifestyle), which the doctor can explain instead of just removing symptoms by a drug." 11/n
Offering vaccines as a silver bullet is not in line with the new conceptualisation of health. Health is complex and can not be achieved with simplistic solutions such as a pill or a jab. 12/n
Given the high risk associated with comorbidities in developing severe disease from SARSCov2, public health campaigns must aim at improving metabolic function and chronic diseases in the population through healthier lifestyles. This is more complex! 13/n
Herd immunity is most efficiently achieved through a combination of ways:
1) vaccinating the vulnerable following informed consent
2) natural infection of the young and healthy
3) pre-existing cross-immunity from related coronaviruses.
This is complexity!
14/n
The #ZeroCovid strategy is oversimplistic and too myopic.
It doesn't take into account the full spectrum of health. It also jeopardises our progress on many other health indicators for the sake of just one. 15/n
The #ZeroCovid strategy involves:
1) shutting down borders indefinitely
2) endless vicious cycle of lockdowns and school closures
3) eliminating all entertainment, the arts and sports
4) overmedicalization of the population
5) restricting freedoms unnecessarily

16/n
It involves a full hijack of life itself for the sake of staying alive.

#ZeroCovid has #ZeroCompassion, #ZeroSustainability, and #ZeroHumanity.

#ZeroCovid makes #Zerosense.
17/n
#ZeroCovid is a blunt, blind and a blatantly ignorant approach that will take more lives than it will save.
We would be committing a horrendous blunder if we pursue it.
It's time to make the right decision.
18/18

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More from @abirballan

16 Feb
"The global health community that, in the past, prioritised HIV/Aids, TB and the big child killer, malaria, appears to consider avoidable deaths from such illnesses an acceptable cost in their attempt to reduce transmission of SARS-COV-2." @bell00david 1/n
newsafrica.net/sections/inter…
"In a new form of post-colonial oppression, the rich world, via video meetings on Zoom, have introduced policies that are leading to impoverishment in Africa." @bell00david
2/n
"And given the very low impact of Covid-19 on younger people, and thus on the vast majority of Africans, one has to question why a vaccine for Covid-19 should take precedent over investment in mosquito nets for malaria, for instance." @bell00david 3/n
Read 4 tweets
14 Feb
What is Health?
Is the current situation conducive to health?
Do you feel healthy now?

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” - @WHO
1/n
Health is not an endpoint in itself, rather a state of existence that facilitates a full and meaningful life.
By being healthy, one can self-actualise and play one's role in society. Life is not about being alive, it's about living and enjoying a good quality of life. 2/n
Physical health involves
1) genetics
2) lifestyle (nutrition and physical activity)
3) access to quality healthcare
4) avoiding hazardous environments
5) avoiding high-risk behaviours (drinking and driving, drugs, unprotected sex) 3/n
medicalnewstoday.com/articles/15099…
Read 26 tweets
14 Feb
“Many who were angered by our original points about lockdown, now own up to agreeing with them, but have dug up other reasons for carrying on being angry with us.” ⁦@PanData19citizen.co.za
“We would encourage our critics to see each of the individual members of @PanData19 as real people, exercising a basic democratic right, and we believe that if they do those things, they will start to see some of the problems with the current approach to dealing with this virus.”
“Like you, we were struggling with the stresses of an uncertain professional environment and having to learn to become teachers to our children. We burned the candle at both ends and as @PanData19 grew so did the reputational risk of being involved.”
Read 5 tweets
13 Feb
The best analysis of the C19 pandemic mass hysteria.
"[H]ow different political institutions and the state affect the development and extension of mass hysteria[?]"
"the size of the state exacerbates the negative consequences of mass hysteria" 1/n
mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/4…
"mass hysteria can lead to policy mistakes that have tragic public health consequences."
"the welfare state of the 21st century combined with a sensationalist mass media is likely to increase the havoc created by mass hysteria" 2/n
"In a mass hysteria, people of a group start to believe that they might be exposed to something dangerous, such as a virus...They believe a threat to be real because someone says so ...Due to the threatening delusion, a large group of people gets collectively very upset" 3/n
Read 45 tweets
13 Feb
"If you then discovered that the majority of the committee members had financial interests in the drug being developed, how would you feel?" 1/n
@zoeharcombe @RosemaryFreiTO @simondolan @Francis_Hoar @BreesAnna @toadmeister @NeilClark66 @allisonpearson
zoeharcombe.com/2020/11/sage-c…
#KBF
"The advice was stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, protect the vulnerable, most people will have a mild illness, wearing face masks is “usually quite a bad idea“, & “big gatherings don’t have a big effect so we don’t want to disrupt people’s lives.” 2/n
"1) Organisations invested in vaccines make money from vaccines. If people acquire natural immunity, they have reduced or no need for a vaccine and thus the potential gain for the vaccine company is reduced." 3/n
Read 12 tweets

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