About a month ago, I underwent my annual physical. I’m required to do this to keep my medical insurance.
As I generally avoid medical treatment, I don’t value medical insurance as highly as do most other people. On a society-wide basis, medical expenditures deliver poor return on investment. While 2010’s Affordable Care Act has extended medical insurance to 35 million more Americans—subsidized by $1.8 trillion/year in tax dollars—life expectancy is lower now than it was in 1996. Despite all of the additional money spent on Covid, including the vaunted “vaccine,” America, and much of Europe, have had sustained 8-40 percent excess mortality since March, 2020, including during the three years since the shots were introduced.
One can’t help but wonder how many of these excess deaths were caused by the lockdowns’ effects, the Covid hospital protocols and the mRNA injections; probably the vast majority were, because as Substacker Bill Rice and others have observed, the virus was around in autumn 2019 without the death trend.
Given that a family insurance policy costs an employer over $20,000/year, I’d prefer to have, for the past four decades, received this sum to spend as I saw fit. I could have used some of these funds to buy a nicer house and to donate to NGOs that help others to eat better food, drink better water, and control malaria.
If I’d had the ability to choose, I would have purchased a high-deductible medical insurance policy that covered only catastrophic injury, put some of the remainder of the repurposed insurance money in the bank and paid out-of-pocket for selected treatments that might have been helpful. I’m baseline healthy, eat carefully and take no meds.
But employer-based plans like mine didn’t offer a high-d option. Plus, many state laws require medical insurers to cover a range of costly and morally and socially problematic treatments, such as sex-changes and IVF, which I’d rather not subsidize. Allowing individuals to assess our own risks would defeat the purpose of providing an inexhaustible source of private and public money to fund the Med/Pharma juggernaut.
In this vein, such unfunny clowns as Jimmy Kimmel and Howard Stern demanded that earned medical insurance, and treatments of all types, be taken away from those, like me, who declined to inject mRNA. This stance seemed odd, given that vaxx mob members had never before supported conduct-based insurance nullification. For decades, none of the vaxxers demanded insurance forfeiture by those who engaged in far riskier behaviors than vaxx refusal, e.g., street drug use, smoking, alcoholism, overeating, or engaging in promiscuous sex that spread HIV or sterilizing STDs.
Yet, even those who supported taking away medical treatments from the uninjected were marginally more decent than those like Noam Chomsky, who demanded that the shot-decliners also be barred from buying food. Overall, the vaxx mandaters weren’t the great thinkers and humanitarians they considered themselves to be. They wrongly ascribed magical powers to the shots, which failed, as had been unequivocally promised, to stop infection and spread or to prevent serious illness.
To say nothing of widespread vaxx injuries and deaths. Go away, fulminating mandaters: your credibility is gone.
I submit to the annual ritual/physical because my wife’s insurance also depends on my physical, even though she’s not required to take one. I also figure that I might as well keep the insurance, a non-negotiable term of employment, in the unlikely event that I break a bone or snap a tendon or ligament and need some operation to repair it. Who knows what something like that would cost these days? Medical bills often bear no reasonable relation to the cost of providing treatment.
The existence of medical insurance, both public and private, has badly inflated medical treatments’ costs, thus placing basic services out of the reach of the uninsured. Insurance and medical mergers have also disfigured the practice of medicine. Many doctors dislike all of the attendant structure, strictures, quotas, billing and coding machinations and interference with professional judgment. Medical malpractice attorneys have also added pressure to over-test and over-treat.
Overall, I question whether the US should spend one-fifth of its $25.6 trillion GDP—i.e., $5,120,000,000,000—annually on medicine. About 85 percent of that amount is consumed by 20 percent of the population; 70 percent is spent on 10 percent. Seeing Pharma, hospitals, and personal injury law firms as the biggest advertisers reflects major social, economic, and governmental dysfunction.
Without undergoing a physical, I know roughly what kind of condition I’m in. To begin with, I know how I feel and function. Getting on a scale supplies another useful data point; my scale reveals to within one-fifth of a pound when I’ve eaten stuff that I shouldn’t have. Running for a train, playing sports, or otherwise exerting myself provides another test: do I get short of breath or does anything hurt the next day? Someone told me that, if you wake up over 50 and nothing hurts, you know you’ve died. By that measure, I’m dead. And grateful to be.
Overall, if you told me at 18 that I could do the things I can do now, at 65.9, I would have been pleased and surprised. At this stage of life, I look at the doughnut, not the hole. Though I avoid eating doughnuts. Or bagels.
I like my doctor well enough. She’s amiable and doesn’t talk down to me. And she doesn’t perform all of the invasive tests that I’ve heard that other doctors perform. She does nothing while checking me out that requires her to wear a latex glove.
But when I go for my physical, I feel she’s nit-picking.
She says my blood sugar readings—I do like me my watermelon—make me “pre-diabetic.” But this label is a scare tactic: only 15 percent of those diagnosed as pre-diabetic ever develop diabetes. My mom was pre-diabetic for decades until she died at 94 and-a-half after a series of strokes that were temporally linked to the mRNA shots. I would have tried to talk Mom out of injecting but she would have gone along anyway. Like so many, she did whatever the doctor said.
My doctor also told me my cholesterol is high. But my HDL/LDL ratio is supposedly good, as are my triglycerides. I’ve read that those are better indicators of circulatory health than is total cholesterol. My blood pressure and pulse are also favorably low. If my arteries were hardening or my heart was weak, wouldn’t these metrics be worse?
Regardless, my doctor recommended that I take a statin. I declined because statins have many negative effects, including cognitive impairment and raising blood sugar. Taking pills to counteract pills seems tricky, unhealthy, and weird. Besides, I don’t want to excrete meds into rivers.
The doctor reminded me that I’ve had a skin cancer spot removed and that I should avoid the sun and/or wear sunscreen. Fair enough, but I can’t change the past. I did much work and play in the sun before anyone told me that I was supposed to wear long sleeves, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. If my skin is damaged, it’s not surprising. It came from living life.
Additionally, she noted that my BMI is high. But BMI resembles an asymptomatic 40-cycle PCR Covid test: both are very dubious heuristics that look for trouble that doesn’t exist. I’m 6’1,” 204 pounds, with no pinchable flesh. This is the same height/weight as many well-conditioned professional athletes. If I dropped my weight to attain an acceptable BMI—i.e., if I were 22 pounds lighter—family and friends would ask if I was OK.
I’m not claiming I’m as fit as a professional athlete in his twenties. I’m not in my twenties. I don’t expect to have the speed, stamina, flexibility, skin, hair, or vision that I had in that decade, even if I devoted my life to exercising and eating with extreme care. I already eat plenty of cold-water fish and vegetables. I stay active but I like to do stuff other than exercise. And I think it’s helpful to mix rest with motion. I get my pulse up 4-5 times/week. It feels like enough.
My doctor also asked me if I had changed my mind about taking the Covid “vaxx.” I responded, “For the past three years, I’ve said the virus didn’t scare me, the shots wouldn’t work, and seemed risky. What’s happened to change my mind?”
She replied, sheepishly, “Just asking.”
I wonder why she’s still asking. Many doctors seem to want to promote Pharma products, especially ones that you’ll take for the rest of your life. If Big Pharma had its way, we’d all be getting Covid and flu shots every year and swallowing multiple pills every day until we die.
Many doctors, bureaucrats, politicians, and ads sell the overarching notion that health comes out of a needle or small, hard, green, brown or yellow plastic cylinders with white caps. Many people have adopted this latter-day religion, which falsely connotes sophistication, safety, and modernity; one vaxx manufacturer even named itself to promote the bias that those who take shots are, as Flip Wilson used to say, members of “The Church of What’s Happening Now.” But just as attorneys advise clients but can’t force clients to heed their advice, medical patients needn’t follow physicians’ direction.
Last night, my wife and I watched two movies in New York City’s documentary film fest, which, after three years of Covophobia, returned to in-person showings. One, entitled Songs of the Earth, spectacularly portrayed an aging Norwegian fjord-dwelling couple. The next, Famadou Konate: King of Djembe, paid lively tribute to an 80-year-old African drummer.
Despite their distinctively different latitudes and cultures—and that the movies were long on compelling visuals and music, and short on talk—protagonists in both of these films expressly emphasized a basic human theme: Our bodies wear out. None of us lives forever. We must consider our time on Earth as a link in the long chain of humanity and try to pass on to our successors: constructive tradition, family, knowledge, wisdom, faith and opportunities for happiness.
Before we watched last night’s movies, we visited NYC’s 9/11 museum and saw photos of thousands of people cut down in their prime. In contrast to those who purportedly died with Covid, the 9/11, and many other, deaths of the non-old are deeply unjust.
Chiefly, I’ve hated Coronamania because it was built on the lie that the deaths of old, sick people were shocking and tragic. Under the pretense of slightly extending some tiny fraction of these lives, many supported taking away significant chunks of the primes of hundreds of millions of non-old peoples’ lives. This ethic, and the lockdown/lockout/mask-up policies that flowed from it, were obscene.
I’ve lived a long time and dodged some bullets. I’ll likely be around for a while longer. But I won’t use every medical modality in a futile, and perhaps counterproductive, attempt to extend my life. As Ivan Illich wrote 47 years ago in Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, the costs—both to the individual and to the society—of doing so outweigh the benefits.
As did the Corona hospital protocols, many medical treatments shorten lives, or lower lives’ quality. And with broad public support, the powers that be isolated and wrecked the lives of the young during Coronamania. I never want to be an accomplice to such inter-generational theft.
I’ve also hated the Scamdemic because, like much of what passes for modern medicine, it centered on looking for trouble that didn’t exist in order to sell products: tests, ventilators, drugs, and shots and to tighten political and social control, not to improve public health. Remaining grounded in reality and recognizing that the duration and quality of our earthly lives are intrinsically limited would provide fewer excuses, and fewer means, to control and derive profit from others.
Republished from the author’s Substack
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