Taomeow

An inside view of the situation in India

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, @steve.  That makes a lot of sense.  It seems plausible to me, as you suggest, that physicians, on average, do not have the power to effectively care for patients in a way that they´d like or their patients deserve.  Otherwise capable and compassionate hands are tied by a system that is set up to create wealth rather than health.  

 

What gives me hope is the flowering of independent sources of health information on the internet and elsewhere, information that allows a motivated person to take care of their body.  We know so much!  I can nourish myself with healthy food and invigorating physical movement.  I can expose myself to sunshine in the morning and go to bed at a reasonable hour at night.  I could, theoretically, stop typing on my laptop and talk to actual people.  (This last goal has proved more elusive.)  It would be great if there was more of a governmental push to help people take proactive steps to better their health.  Maybe someday their will be but I´m not going to wait. 

Edited by liminal_luke
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Posted (edited)

a short note on TB from WHO. (where it is very bad in India while people in the US. are not under anywhere near the same risk of death as those in many other countries that have poorer medical systems!)

Key facts

  • A total of 1.4 million people died from TB in 2019 (including 208 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS).
  • In 2019, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis(TB) worldwide. 5.6 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.2 million children. TB is present in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable.
  • In 2019, 1.2 million children fell ill with TB globally. Child and adolescent TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
  • In 2019, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases. Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. A global total of 206 030 people with multidrug- or rifampicin-resistant TB (MDR/RR-TB) were detected and notified in 2019, a 10% increase from 186 883 in 2018.
  • Globally, TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year and between 2015 and 2019 the cumulative reduction was 9%. This was less than half way to the End TB Strategy milestone of 20% reduction between 2015 and 2020.
  • An estimated 60 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2019.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Edited by old3bob

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23 hours ago, old3bob said:

 

As I was waiting to be vaccinated for the second time, a women of similar vintage, related she got the polio vaccination the very day following her cousins death from it. Seems he contracted it there were no Iron Lungs in her state. She said she had to be almost on a death bed before she ever saw a doctor. Her mom came home loaded every body in the car and they all got vaccinated.

She could not understand antivaccers, if they hadn't faced terrible loss they were spoiling for it! 

Her words not mine... but she was preaching to the choir!

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2 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

Thanks, @steve.  That makes a lot of sense.  It seems plausible to me, as you suggest, that physicians, on average, do not have the power to effectively care for patients in a way that they´d like or their patients deserve.  Otherwise capable and compassionate hands are tied by a system that is set up to create wealth rather than health.  

 

What gives me hope is the flowering of independent sources of health information on the internet and elsewhere, information that allows a motivated person to take care of their body.  We know so much!  I can nourish myself with healthy food and invigorating physical movement.  I can expose myself to sunshine in the morning and go to bed at a reasonable hour at night.  I could, theoretically, stop typing on my laptop and talk to actual people.  (This last goal has proved more elusive.)  It would be great if there was more of a governmental push to help people take proactive steps to better their health.  Maybe someday their will be but I´m not going to wait. 

 

I used to experience a lot of guilt, anger, and discouragement related to the inadequacies of the system, education, my personal limitations, and the bad apples I encounter, not to mention the frustration of dealing with those conditioned to seek and expect a doctor and a pill to solve all their problems while refusing to take responsibility for understanding their options and investing time and effort in their own health, as you described

 

Your approach is so important and so obvious to many but there is also a huge, glaring blind spot in so many lives, not unlike the blind spot McCullough points out in our national (lack of) treatment for Covid. While the specifics aren’t identical, they certainly have common themes and players. 

 

At the end of the day, we cannot depend on the system, the government, a doctor, even a guru; we must take responsibility to learn about and maintain our health and wellness. And then we need to die well also, at least that’s a big part of why I practice as I do - for my death. 

 

I think there is enormous allopathic potential, folks like McCullough and many others inspire confidence, and hope. At the same time we need to continue to reform the system as aggressively as possible. There is so much untapped potential outside the allopathic paradigm. We need to change provider education, public education, and return control of the purse strings to those willing and able to create a system that serves the public health rather than illness and avarice. An elusive goal for sure.

 

A great source of hope for me is the continuous influx of bright, dedicated, and compassionate nurses, doctors, supportive people, researchers, teachers, healers and care providers of all kinds and backgrounds into our world. Covid and our response has created a lot of harm but also enormous opportunities for personal and collective growth. Good things will come if each of us takes more personal responsibility and initiative. Cudos to people like you and Taomeow and many others here who are trying to understand and live from a place of awareness. May we all continue to learn, discover and share more!

 

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15 minutes ago, steve said:

At the end of the day, we cannot depend on the system, the government, a doctor, even a guru; we must take responsibility to learn about and maintain our health and wellness. And then we need to die well also, at least that’s a big part of why I practice as I do - for my death. 

 

I think there is enormous allopathic potential, folks like McCullough and many others inspire confidence, and hope. At the same time we need to continue to reform the system as aggressively as possible. There is so much untapped potential outside the allopathic paradigm. We need to change provider education, public education, and return control of the purse strings to those willing and able to create a system that serves the public health rather than illness and avarice. An elusive goal for sure.

 

A great source of hope for me is the continuous influx of bright, dedicated, and compassionate nurses, doctors, supportive people, researchers, teachers, healers and care providers of all kinds and backgrounds into our world. Covid and our response has created a lot of harm but also enormous opportunities for personal and collective growth. Good things will come if each of us takes more personal responsibility and initiative. Cudos to people like you and Taomeow and many others here who are trying to understand and live from a place of awareness. May we all continue to learn, discover and share more!

 

Living well should lead one to dying well...

I have been fortunate to witness it at least twice.

Outside my family a very dear friend and mentor was an woman of color, some 50 years older than I.

She was strong in her faith having given birth to 12 children and raised them all in a three bedroom one and half bath farm house.

Widowed early she was well into her sixties when we met.

I tried to share some bounty from my garden with her, carry that down the homeless shelter why don"t you? And here is money to buy some corn to carry for me.

We shared common values, an appreciation of chickens, a tolerance to their predators, including both foxes and hawks. Not so much raccoons who often killed as if on a spree... we shared a strong distaste for ground hogs.

I spent countless hours just sitting on her porch, enjoying her company regardless of the weather. We would talk about crops past and present, the weather, or as often as not in silence, being bathed by nature and mutual affection and respect.

She was in her nineties and blind when our visits increased. I am looking for the good Lord to carry me home she would say as I approached. He ain't in no damn hurry to fetch you anywhere as long as you keep blessing us...

 

I met the second who oddly enough was both an oncology nurse and an acupuncturist. She spoiled my father with care and loving kindness as he struggled with pancreatic cancer. Our first meeting could not have started off on a more sour note. My dad and I were delayed, and she wanted to cancel. Not having any of that I assured her we were doing our best, didn't mean any disrespect and would prefer we did not lock horns on our first meeting, which was going to happen soon. We arrived at the same building that housed the Oncology Practice who would be treating him as well.

They hit it off from the git go.

Turned out she was also a nurse at the oncology practice were my dad was receiving chemo therapy.

Many days it was all I could do to get him loaded in the car for either appointment. We would struggle to the elevator to his acupuncture appt. and he would stride with confidence down the stairs unassisted afterwards.

She and I became very close over the ensuing years, discussing life and death.

She had very strong feelings on letting go or dying. I reckon she died as she lived, by her terms. Carrying on as best she could until it was too tiring. She went home just before Thanksgiving of 2020. 

I miss her dearly...

 

 

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Thank you for sharing 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

I think you are right.

For me a big part of living right is my practice.

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I initially was not going to engage in this thread but circumstances have proven otherwise so here is my offering.

This thread was started about 2 hours after I posted a thread to host prayers for India.

Whether intentional or not, it felt like a counter-argument or invalidation of the intent of my thread which is why I moved that thread.

My thread was not in response to the media campaign or to statistics or even the powerful images of death we've seen.

It was in response to hearing from friends both here and in India who are deeply suffering and afraid for their lives and loved ones.

I've recently been hearing from friends in Nepal about similar fears and terrifying experiences. 

I let go of counting and comparing the numbers and following statistics and media coverage of Covid last summer. 

I don't object to anyone who wants to continue to discuss and debate the science, the anti-science, statistics, politics surrounding Covid, and so forth, but none of that holds much weight for me at the moment.

I just thought it worthwhile to share where I was and am coming from.

I feel like we have potential here to create community and mutual support. 

At least that's why I'm here, not so much for information.

 

Peace and good health to you all

_/\_/\_/\_

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, steve said:

 

I just thought it worthwhile to share where I was and am coming from.

I feel like we have potential here to create community and mutual support. 

At least that's why I'm here, not so much for information.

 

 

Steve,

 

It´s so easy to get lost in opinion.  Often, our inner struggles get projected out and take the form of interpersonal conflict.  As within, so without.  You have a talent for bypassing The Fight and zeroing in on what really matters: human connection.  Perhaps you were born with this ability, but I suspect it´s something you´ve honed through years of dedicated spiritual practice and introspection.  I hope you know that the fruits of this inner work are appreciated and seen.  

Edited by liminal_luke
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, steve said:

I initially was not going to engage in this thread but circumstances have proven otherwise so here is my offering.

This thread was started about 2 hours after I posted a thread to host prayers for India.

Whether intentional or not, it felt like a counter-argument or invalidation of the intent of my thread which is why I moved that thread.

 

 

As the OP, I'll explain too.  It so happened that I was also communicating with a friend in India at the time, a doctor/researcher who has been living there and treating covid patients, who came to India from a country that in his opinion is in no better covid shape at this point (Ukraine), and his main argument was for people to look at where they're at in their own countries.  He was mostly addressing his compatriots whom, just like Americans, the media had lovingly taken by the nape of the neck and turned in the direction of India, and turned their attention and awareness there rather than wherever else (out of 220 countries each with its own story to tell, 38 of them a scarier story than India).  So the conversation was fresh in my mind when I saw your thread -- but I didn't add the "counterargument" to it precisely because you specifically asked to leave the "political" opinions out of it (sorry, don't remember your exact wording).  It's just that the timing was such that your thread seemed like a counterargument to exactly the information I was processing at that moment.  So, the intent was to respect your request while giving my own thoughts a voice too, hence a thread at around the same time.  

 

Like I already pointed out here and elsewhere more than once, it was a slip of the keyboard -- as a general rule I've sworn off the subject.  (With apologies to @cheya and others posting in a different thread that I would contribute to if I wasn't too afraid at this point of letting anyone know I have any opinions of my own at all.  I'm learning, painfully, to move in the world only the way a puppet is allowed to move, only in response to this string pulled, then that string.  My heart is not attached to those strings -- but I have to go through the motions of either moving my tongue as though it is, or not moving it at all.) 

 

I never doubted your heart, Steve, it's just that these days I'm a firmer believer in hell is paved with good intentions than I ever was. 

 

Edit: typo

Edited by Taomeow
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

Like I already pointed out here and elsewhere more than once, it was a slip of the keyboard -- as a general rule I've sworn off the subject.  (With apologies to @cheya and others posting in a different thread that I would contribute to if I wasn't too afraid at this point of letting anyone know I have any opinions of my own at all.  I'm learning, painfully, to move in the world only the way a puppet is allowed to move, only in response to this string pulled, then that string.  My heart is not attached to those strings -- but I have to go through the motions of either moving my tongue as though it is, or not moving it at all.) 

 

 

I´ll say two things.  I´m sure you have excellent reasons for swearing off the subject of the pandemic in general, and vaccination in particular.  And...your absence from the discussion about this topic lately has been noticed and you´ve been missed.

 

 

Edited by liminal_luke
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27 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

I never doubted your heart, Steve, it's just that these days I'm a firmer believer in hell is paved with good intentions than I ever was. 

 

I feel the same about you and about the fragile and contentious nature of communication in the present time.

 

My intention was not to attack or criticize your thread. You have been one of the most dependable and accurate sources of information on the subject since Covid began.

 

On the other hand, I did feel a need to share my feelings even at the risk of coming across as upset or defensive.

I feel neither of those things and continue to value your contributions here and our friendship.

 

🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

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22 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

I´m sure you have excellent reasons for swearing off the subject of the pandemic in general, and vaccination in particular.  And...your absence from the discussion about this topic lately has been noticed and you´ve been missed.

 

 

 

Quoted and bolded for emphasis.

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1 hour ago, Taomeow said:

Like I already pointed out here and elsewhere more than once, it was a slip of the keyboard -- as a general rule I've sworn off the subject. 

 

I'm not saying this to be argumentative, but why would people question the narrative if there is no rational alternative offered? And if offered, shouldn't we also subject the counter-narrative to the same questioning? 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

I'm not saying this to be argumentative, but why would people question the narrative if there is no rational alternative offered? And if offered, shouldn't we also subject the counter-narrative to the same questioning? 

 

 

One can only hope.

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Posted (edited)

The situation internally within India is also highly politicized and polarized with issues unrelated to Covid. So there is certainly some brinksmanship going on with the amount of noise being generated from within, which is getting amplified to the rest of the civilized world. 
 

In my friend circle, there are many high-level medical professionals in India (for e.g., heads of departments medical schools/hospitals) who have clearly outlined that vaccination is the fastest way to get out of this pandemic. They also prescribe a combination of medication as a counter for milder cases of Covid. Last winter, when my aunt (81) succumbed to the pandemic, her daughter and son-in-law too contracted the disease. But they were given strong doses of Zinc, vitamin C and some other medications, asked to do regular  steam inhalation, and isolate themselves and thankfully they pulled through without infecting my uncle (87) (who was undergoing chemo and radiation therapy for cancer at the time) and my nephew (17). Another of my aunts

caught the disease at the same time, was admitted to the ICU for a week and pulled through - she is in her early 60s and has been a yoga/pranayama practitioner for many years now.  
 

Fast forward to the second wave, another cousin’s entire family caught the disease. His mom (in her 80s) was moved to a hospital 

 in mumbai, but after seeing that she was exposed greater risk in the hospital, my cousin brought her back home and the entire family has recovered now. Aunt was sick for a few weeks, my younger cousin was sick for 2 weeks 

 

Family friends have lost one or more parents. The human impact is tremendous — though it is not always apparent through statistics.
 

My wife returned from India in the middle of the pandemic as she had to go help her mom, who lives alone in India. She told me how terribly dangerous the entire situation is — people were not following social distancing (hard to do given the density of population), many were not masking properly (they’d cover their mouths but not noses). 
 

To complicate things, India’s economy, with the last round of lockdowns (which lasted several months) shrunk in double digit numbers last year. So the choice is really to either shelter-in-home or starve to death (in case of more than 300 million people who are at or below the poverty line and rely on daily wages to survive —

about the size of the US in population)! 

What option do they have other than vaccination? To make things worse, anti-Vaxers in India have been spreading FUD about the vaccines, making poor/uneducated people afraid to get vaccinated. I’ve heard anecdotes of people running away to avoid getting vaccinated. 

 

This post from a friend on FB summarizes the feeling in India 

 

Quote

#India #Grief #Rituals #ForThoseLeftBehind 

It’s not just numbers. It’s not just Deaths. It’s the complete helplessness. It’s the inability to ever say goodbye. Death rituals were psychological designs for the society, the family to bid farewell. It’s the complete and total absence of that. No. A zoom meet cannot substitute a hug, a howl, a tired smile through the tears. No please. It’s not just numbers. It’s us. Human. Very very human. Very very helpless.

 

Edited by dwai
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Thanks @dwai for sharing that personal account.  I don´t blame anyone for choosing to be vaccinated or choosing not to be vaccinated.  I blame only those poor souls who are trying to make money off of this crisis by knowingly putting other people´s health at risk.  My guess is that none of the regular contributors to Covid threads here fall into that category.  My heart goes out to the people who are suffering in India, whether from poverty or Covid or a horrific mix of the two.

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2 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

 I don´t blame anyone for choosing to be vaccinated or choosing not to be vaccinated. 

 

The issue is that our actions affect other people. In an interdependent world, there's no such thing as an independent action. 

 

If some one has a valid, society-centered set of arguments why we should not be vaccinated, that is one thing. But if we're thinking that our self-interest trumps the communal interest, that is another thing all together. 

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15 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

The issue is that our actions affect other people. In an interdependent world, there's no such thing as an independent action. 

 

If some one has a valid, society-centered set of arguments why we should not be vaccinated, that is one thing. But if we're thinking that our self-interest trumps the communal interest, that is another thing all together. 

 

Suppose I consider my particular health status (age, preexisting conditions, etc), do my due diligence to investigate the various vaccines, consult with knowledgable people I trust, and in the end decide that it´s not in my personal best interest to be vaccinated.  Do you believe that my decision is morally reprehensible?  Am I obligated to do something I believe puts my own health at risk for the sake of contributing to herd immunity?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

Suppose I consider my particular health status (age, preexisting conditions, etc), do my due diligence to investigate the various vaccines, consult with knowledgable people I trust, and in the end decide that it´s not in my personal best interest to be vaccinated.  Do you believe that my decision is morally reprehensible?  Am I obligated to do something I believe puts my own health at risk for the sake of contributing to herd immunity?

 

 

If there’s a valid medical reason to not get vaccinated, imho there is no problem. The issue is that there is a lot of FUD around the vaccinations — many people refuse to take it simply based on hearsay. Also we have the entire section of individuals who keep questioning the need for masks and social distancing and refuse to follow the safety guidelines claiming that it is “mind control”. 

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30 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

But if we're thinking that our self-interest trumps the communal interest, that is another thing all together. 

 

That seems like a succinct and reasonably accurate description of the US mindset, IME. 

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5 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

I'm not saying this to be argumentative, but why would people question the narrative if there is no rational alternative offered?

Distrust is probably #1, along with lots of misinformation, disinformation, and an abject lack of integrity in media and leadership.

 

5 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

And if offered, shouldn't we also subject the counter-narrative to the same questioning? 

Yes

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I got vaccinated at the earliest opportunity, it was a no-brainer for me. I’ll take my chances with an m-RNA based vaccine over Covid with my risk factors and high exposure risk any day. On the other hand I do empathize with those who fear the vaccines and would rather take their chances with Covid.

(edited to add —>) It’s difficult to expect much trust in our healthcare system when it is so pervaded by avarice and opportunism. Unrestrained, crony capitalism and healthcare don’t blend well.

 

Count me among those who would not support mandatory vaccinations, especially when the vaccines are based in relatively new technology and have such short follow up. They do appear to be quite safe and effective but our experience is limited.

 

Sadly, I don’t expect much concern for others or the collective in my country. Look at how we treat our elderly, our impoverished, our minorities, our children, our prisoners, our animals, our environment, our indigenous population, our neighbors, and look at our spending trends... I’ve always seen the national tenor as more of a libertarian tendency with a healthy dose of objectivism. 

 

I do bristle when I hear bullshit being spread like masks are dangerous or unhealthy and dehumanizing, they’re a rights violation, and so forth but I mostly keep my opinions to myself on the topic anymore. People will be as they are and I can only make choices for myself. As Anthony Demello said, I will paraphrase: each of us gets to live our lives as we see fit but we can’t expect others to live their lives as we see fit. 

 

On the bright side, Covid has provided limitless opportunities for practice and growth and an unprecedented lesson in impermanence for me.

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11 minutes ago, dwai said:

If there’s a valid medical reason to not get vaccinated, imho there is no problem. The issue is that there is a lot of FUD around the vaccinations — many people refuse to take it simply based on hearsay. Also we have the entire section of individuals who keep questioning the need for masks and social distancing and refuse to follow the safety guidelines claiming that it is “mind control”. 

 

I´m somewhat of a fuddy-duddy and just looked up the acronym FUD to better understand your post.  Ya can´t say bumming around isn´t a learning experience!

 

I´m not especially versed scientifically and don´t expect an imminent appointment to any kind of public health position.  So I actually can´t make educated comments on the utility of vaccines, masks, etc.  What I do see here on the forum and in the US generally is a kind of hardening into positions.  People are picking sides and calling names.  It´s like Trump all over again except now we´re taking about covering our mouths and noses rather than electing a president.  What I´m hoping for is a little softening, perhaps a bit more humility, room for doubt.  Everything I believe about the pandemic might turn out to be wrong. If I can humbly accept the limitations of my own understanding, I´ll find it easier to really listen to people who see life differently.  

 

Nothing about all this will help people suffering in India; that´s a problem beyond my scope.  I´m just hoping we can really talk to each other here rather than mindlessly drumming our fixed beliefs out into the cyber emptiness.

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31 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

Nothing about all this will help people suffering in India; that´s a problem beyond my scope.  I´m just hoping we can really talk to each other here rather than mindlessly drumming our fixed beliefs out into the cyber emptiness.

I hear you. This is not just for india — this will come back to bite us all in the collective buns if we don’t have a solution that will help all (or at least a large percentage of people across the world). 
 

As we all know, diseases, like death,  don’t  pick sides — all are equally vulnerable. What can we do here? I guess what we already are doing — respectfully share our thoughts, concerns and feelings in a safe environment without fear of judgment or reprisal.

 

I love this new TDB — less (or negligible) chest thumping machismo, and more of the 

genuine and mature discourses that we’ve been having :) 

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