Some thoughts about COVID 19 – The Great Reset – things to consider, and our appropriate responses

It is becoming increasingly hard to know what information to believe, on all sides of the political spectrum, and in terms of what rigorous science would point us to.

Please bear in mind that what follows below are my musings. They are meant to provoke thought and discussion amongst people who choose to read this post. I am NOT saying I have any corner on what is True, or What Needs to Be Done, or the like – Except to say that I would hope people who read this will use their critical faculties, their logic and their gut instincts to consider the information. I heartily invite discussion and input, and challenge, of the Information, based on the most solid information you can gather.

If you are just going to label, attack and insult myself, or anyone else responding to this post, you will be blocked/deleted.

Yesterday, I looked up Covid figures on the World-O-Meter: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (See screen captures of some charts, at the bottom of this post).

As with so many parameters of note around appropriate measures in response to the COVID-19 virus, there have been widely-reported challenges to the veracity and reliability of the PCR testing, especially with higher number of cycles in the testing (>35) to amplify the genetic material being tested for. Other detailed studies I found say that it is very reliable – but then there are some provisos for effective interpretations and application of those results. See this study from Ontario, for example: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/main/2020/09/cycle-threshold-values-sars-cov2-pcr.pdf?la=en

I have left this question of diagnostic reliability out of my own look at relevant issues – at least for now. I personally feel that the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, relative to the country’s population, is a more useful measure. So, after playing around with some the settings in this very useful worldometer chart system, I clicked to add a column that is not part of the default settings, called “1 Death every X ppl”.

That added column appears on the right in each of the captured excerpts I have pasted in below. The first chart is how it appears (minus that “1 Death every X ppl column) when you first log into the worldometer countries chart for COVID. The 18 countries topping the list in that first chart are in order of largest number of Total Cases, the USA at the top.

In the second chart, with many more entries, there are 194 countries out of 220 total in the complete chart. The 194 are the ones for which there are numbers in the column marked “Death every X ppl”.

As you can see in that second chart the entries are listed from highest to lowest number of 1 Death/X ppl. So I ‘ll list a few entries here by number, country and the final figure in the column of 1 Death/ X ppl:

2. Taiwan               – 3,405,293 (So, obviously 1 death attributed to COVID 19 in every 3.4

million people is a much lower incidence than when it is

1/626 people, as in Belgium, below)

5. Thailand            – 1,164,705

9. China                    –  310,601

19. New Zealand      – 200,084

55. Japan                      – 43,959

67. Australia                – 28,236

137. Germany                – 3,135

143. Canada                   – 2,665 (so, our incidence is 1277x higher than Taiwan; 75x higher

than New Zealand; more than 2x lower than the US and the

UK; and 4.26x lower than Belgium)

172. Sweden                   – 1,267

183. USA                          – 1,023

184. UK                             – 1,010

192. Italy                            –  878

193. Belgium                      – 626

I have a friend who lives in Taiwan, and has done for several years now. I have another friend who recently retired, with his wife,  from the eastern US to Thailand. In both of those cases I have heard about the pretty minimal disruption to ordinary life that presently exists in those two places.

In China, where we are told this virus initially appeared (though there have been reports that COVID-19 cases were identified months earlier in other parts of the world; and also that there has been a cover-up of emails showing corruption and manipulation of the virus in labs in Wuhan, imprisonment and torture of whistleblower scientists and the first physician to notify authorities in China of the virus outbreak; and allegations of mass cremations to hide the actual and under-reported death toll in China) the death toll is remarkably low. Who and what is to be believed?

But even if we leave China aside as an untrustworthy reporter of relevant statistics, I wonder what explains such a discrepancy in reported cases, and particularly in the death toll relative to population.

Yes, I do hear from people I know in Taiwan and Thailand about early restrictive measures and almost universal compliance of mask wearing. And yes, New Zealand and Australia acted early and with widespread measures to restrict the in-flow of people from countries with higher infection rates. And, they have the marked advantage of being island nations that can swiftly impose travel restrictions with greater ease and efficiency than countries that share long, unprotected borders, or multiple borders with fellow land-locked countries. But it seems like there must be more to be understood here. 

And over and over again, anyone who questions the efficacy of many of the measures being forced upon us seems to get targeted for shaming and “putting other’s lives at risk”. Well, as a health care professional myself, I have always been trained to look for the cost/risk to benefit ratio. What does the patient stand to gain if this treatment is given or not given; and what are the risks and costs involved with each  of the two (or even more) options? And believe me, I know how charged this gets when the safety, or very survivability of a loved one is at stake. But I, for one, would be grieving no less to see a loved one die from a drug-overdose or suicide than from a COVID-19 infection.  

I am NOT saying this is black and white, follow all health directives, or none, scenario. As a practicing osteopathic practitioner, I am duty bound and morally responsible for using safety protocols, cleaning protocols and the like. What I am advocating for is more comparison of the different protocols being applied world-wide. What can we learn from countries with lower death and infection rates to improve Canadian responses; and  what measures are simply not working? Collectively, humankind has the ability to gather information, and to test and apply novel responses and solutions in exponentially greater ways than ever before. Please, let’s be open-minded, test our own assumptions, be willing to hear what might seem crazy or reckless while asking ourselves, “is there anything useful or true in this?”

Here is an article along the lines of what I’m speaking of;

https://epicenter.wcfia.harvard.edu/blog/explaining-japans-soft-approach-to-covid-19

Here are a few things I’ll add to the mix:

  1. Early on in this pandemic we were cautioned to forget about any kind of immune-boosting agents, as totally useless. That has changed somewhat in recent months. I have read widely on the use of high dose vitamin C  as a very powerful anti-viral measure. Here are two articles on that:
  2. a. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/12/andrew-saul-high-dose-vitamin-c-therapy-for-major-diseases.asp b.https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/942640?src=soc_fb_201219_mscpedt_news_pharm_vitc&faf=1
  3. Maintaining adequate doses of Vitamin D also has strong evidence for boosting immunity, lowering the risk of respiratory infections, and perhaps for helping one heal from COVID-19 or colds, influenza. In fact, major risks for contracting COVID 19 correlate with the higher incidence of co-morbidities in the poor: obesity, insulin resistance and vitamin D deficiency – https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/17/pandemic-wealth-inequality.aspx
  4. An ER physician speaking out early in the devastating wave of COVID-19-related deaths in New York City, in the spring, was quoted as saying that COVID did not manifest as a typical respiratory virus resulting in pneumonia, but rather, that it was much more like altitude sickness. The patients were very rapidly becoming deeply hypoxic, yet they were not showing the typical signs of gasping for air and finding it very difficult to speak. That physician said the use of respirators in that case seemed to just up the mortality rate, for those so affected. Just now I read another physician’s take on this who said that the typical treatment approach to altitude sickness could be dangerous when applied to a COVID-19 patient. So, I will leave this to the highly trained experts in this field of acute-care medicine, who I’m sure are learning new and more effective ways to handle the acute scenarios, every day. I am totally on board with supporting and appreciating the valiant efforts and sacrifices offered by our front-line medical staff, and first responders.
  5. “The Great Reset” The World Economic Congress is openly speaking about how the lockdown will lead into establishment of altogether new systems, in which nothing is owned, we rent literally everything we use and occupy, including our homes, and that everything we do say, interact with, will be logged and steered in direction of compliance with what is decided “to be for the greater good”. I guess whether that Great Reset looks more like what this Time Magazine article proposes (first link, below) or this much more worrying vision, (second link) will be up to us to decide. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/19/technocracy-and-the-great-reset.aspx?ui=fcea806e14d61224008c7fd91283783af96edf252e0cde2d679a1c570ce8f459&cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20201219_HL2&mid=DM751752&rid=1038383273
  6. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/19/technocracy-and-the-great-reset.aspx?ui=fcea806e14d61224008c7fd91283783af96edf252e0cde2d679a1c570ce8f459&cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20201219_HL2&mid=DM751752&rid=1038383273

I will finish this long epistle by saying this. If we make it unsafe to speak anything that challenges the mainstream narrative, we are living in an impoverished society. Let’s hear all points of view on these very important policies and responses, without rancour or attack. Only then can we see what is useful and valuable to promoting the best level of health for all concerned.

If you have read this far, I thank you.

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Important information for all of the women in my life

I just came across this very useful blog, (see link, below) written by a woman here in Victoria, BC, about warning signs of a heart attack, and when to see a physician for further investigations.

This information might save the life of someone you know and love.

Women & heart disease

My presentations

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Boron Supplementation and Arthritis

A few weeks ago I saw an article written by Ian Faulkner for the Elephant Journal on the work of Dr. Rex Newnham, and the essential role of the trace element Boron in preventing/treating arthritis, osteoporosis and even cancer. This really picqued my interest, because when I was training in London, UK, as an osteopath, over 30 years ago, I came across Dr. Newnham’s work and his “OsteoTrace” supplement. In fact, that prompted me to check through my box of supplies from my clinic over the years, and I came across an old box of “OsteoTrace”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t repeat all that Ian writes so well of (see the link, below), except to say that Dr. Newnham discovered that boron is a mineral that has been very depleted in the soils of some areas of the world – and in those same areas, the incidence of osteoarthritis is particularly high. And conversely, where soils are rich in boron, the incidence of arthritic disorders is correspondingly low. As you will see, there is much more scientific evidence than just those trends, but that communicates the gist of it.

I remember being very impressed with Dr. Newnham when I spoke to him many years ago in the earliest days of my practice as a naturopath and osteopath, regarding his supplement; and I had recommended it to many patients, whilst still practicing in the UK. But I did not find it easy to get a hold of after I left the UK in the mid 1990’s.

So, I was heartened to read of Ian Faulkner’s experience of ridding himself of quite serious arthritis symptoms by adding boron to an already developed regime he was trying. You can get all of Ian Faulkner’s suggestions for what I believe to be a sound and effective regime to treat arthritis, by following this link to Ian’s excellent article and summary of the research he did on this, here:

http://ian-faulkner.com/arthritis-boron/

 

To your good health,

 

Howard

 

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Article written for the James Bay Beacon

I am a founder member of the Victoria Community Health Co-operative, and of the Wellness Clinic, offered on a Sunday, near the end of most months of the year. I donate my services at those Sunday clinics most times when they are offered, except for rare occasions when I am elsewhere.

In July of this year, 2018, I will have been in practice as an osteopathic practitioner for 30 years. It has been, and continues to be, an interesting journey. I feel very blessed to have been able to make my living from working with people, in ways that are effective and meaningful, for the clear majority of those I have had the good fortune to serve. I have never stopped learning in these many years – not just in terms of the anatomy, physiology and life force inherent in every living being I treat, but also just about Life itself.

It has, however, always been a challenge to give an accessible explanation for the sort of work I do with patients. And while for most people, after we have begun to work together, explaining the mechanisms behind my work is less important, I have included here my current iteration of a description of my work:

The work I do with my clients/patients encompasses two fundamental things:

  1. finding subtle means to reflect back to people’s unconscious minds the sensory information necessary to re-engage their self-healing capability, and;
  2. helping people (for children and animals, this is partially via their care-givers) “get”, mostly at the unconscious level, what needs to be understood – bio-mechanically, bio-energetically, and sometimes on even more subtle levels. Where appropriate, I then point to what they can do to discern and listen more closely to their body signals, and how they might make decisions more in harmony with those signals.

In other words, it is seeing what the “guidelines” for healthier living are (whether they are universal, and/or specific guidelines, dictated by unique, individual circumstances), and giving physical feedback, and more overt suggestions, on beginning to align decisions and actions with those guidelines.

The work is gentle, subtle and respectful; and is my pleasure to offer.

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Solo show (with Friends) at Gorgeous Coffee – Thursday, Nov. 23/17

This is the poster for the show I’m doing tomorrow night. Please note the line about parking in the lot just behind Gorgeous Coffee, OR, at Imperial Hallmark Cleaners, close by.

Please do NOT park behind the El Greco Restaurant. Thank you!

 

 

Screenshot 2017-11-22 14.59.01.png

Screenshot 2017-11-22 16.40.48

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Access to my New Practice, at 1756 Gonzales Avenue

My partner, Karen, and I are now moved into our new place, at 1756 Gonzales Avenue. I am recommencing practice from this address as of Monday, November 6th.

The clinic entrance is around the back of the house, through the second sliding glass door. My sign from the Shotbolt address will be near that door to indicate the entrance. The animals I treat on Monday mornings should also be brought around the back of the house.

If you need to park as close as possible, please pull into the driveway in front of the garage. The pull-off space in front of the sidewalk up to the front door is meant only for those people who need to be dropped off, or who have significant mobility challenges. Our landlord, who lives directly across the road, has a strong preference for that pull-off only being used by those patients who really need it. If at all possible, I would appreciate folks, who can do so, parking a little further up the hill, on Montgomery Avenue.

The MapQuest photo, below, is from May 2015. There are no longer rocks along the roadside in the pull-off spaces, but you can see how residents have been discouraging parking there for years.

Thanks so much for your cooperation on this.

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Update: My Home & Practice are moving soon.

My partner, Karen Ledger, and I have been looking for a new place to call home, and for me to run my practice from, for some time now, since our 2.5 year rental contract at our present home finishes on December 31st, 2017. We’ll still be in our place at 1907 Shotbolt Road until the end of this month, of October, but from November 1st, 2017 onwards, we’ll be living, and my practice will be, at 1756 Gonzales Avenue. The postal code there is V8S 1T7. The rest of our contact details will remain as before. Closer to our move date, I’ll be posting information regarding parking and access to the practice space.

Here’s a picture of where we’ll soon be moving to:

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How Understanding Polyvagal Theory Can Help

This relatively new understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) – called Polyvagal Theory – can allow most adults, but especially parents, teachers and health professionals to assist children, students, patients, and ourselves, toward greater wellness.

Most people will be familiar with the long-held view of the ANS as a continuum between just two ‘poles’: the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) at one end; and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) at the other. In that earlier understanding of the ANS, there was the common assumption that the SNS referred to the person’s “Fight or Flight” response, while the “Rest and Rebuild” response occurred as a result of PNS function. While there is truth in those associations, they were not fully accurate, for two main reasons: 1. The view was lacking the fact that Fight or Flight is a stress response, while Rest and Rebuild is a normal response; and, 2. the under-pinning of our most highly evolved human behaviours come neither from the SNS, nor the PNS, but from what psychiatrist Steven Porges called the Social Vagal (or Ventral Vagal) that we’ll get to in a moment.

This three-part, or triune, layout of the neural circuits of the ANS has evolved as a phylogenetic heirachy. In other words, we share the Parasympathetic part of of our brains autonomic functions with more primitive animals (lower in the phylogeny). Then later in the evolutionary chain of biological development, the alertness and readying-for-action abilities of the SNS developed. Then most recently, only in higher mammals (and most especially in humans) were the most complex and inter-relational functions and responses conferred  by developing the Social Vagal Nervous System.

In both normal functions and stress responses, physical, mental and energetic expressions can come from anywhere in this heirarchy of ANS function. In the varying circumstances of normal everyday life most of us can move smoothly between and amongst the three stages of ANS patterns. In the case of historical trauma that hasn’t been fully processed, like PTSD, however, there is likely to be some fixation, or interruption in that smooth flow.

In stressful circumstances (from novelty to outright threat) we will use our newest, most evolved strategies, first (check in with others, provide love, comfort, touch, empathy). If that doesn’t work, (or hasn’t typically in the past) however, we’ll move to the alarm, fight or flight, discharge type of reaction. If that does not work, we revert to our most primitive and final strategy, which can progress from immobilization to deep depression, to parasympathetic shock.*

From having some understanding of Polyvagal Theory, and how all of us, as humans, move smoothly from one of these stages of response to another (or how we sometimes don’t) we have very useful tools to work more compassionately with ourselves and everyone around us. I highly  recommend the book I have named and given a link to below, to parents, teachers, health professionals and humans in relationship…

 

*Most of this article is based heavily of the excellent summary of Dr. Porges’ work, written by John Chitty in Chapter Six of his book: “Dancing With Yin and Yang”

http://www.polaritytherapycounseling.com

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My Worldview, and its impact on my osteopathic practice

This writing is off the top of my head, in the short hour before needing to submit this as an article for the next edition of WellnessNews in Victoria, BC. I share that only because it also speaks to what I wish to share here, which, amongst other things, includes something of how my mind works.

On the latter point, I ruminate on things for days, sometimes more, aware that something is taking shape behind the scenes. I don’t really know exactly what the result will be, nor what it will look like, but I can feel its weight, its shadow, its posture, sometimes even its range of motion. Then the writing down happens in a quick flow, with very little editing or shaping at all.

So, what is surfacing this time is about the bouncing I do, between worrying about the destructive trends going on all around us, and the excitement I feel regarding very encouraging things I can feel unfolding – in myself, and in many other people and phenomena around me.

I was at the library a short while ago, where I picked up a copy of a book called, “Who Rules the Earth?”, by Paul Steinberg. You can watch a 10-minute video, summarizing that book’s message, also called Who Rules the Earth?  by the same author, here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/UXPkRIeW45c

More on the whole project of purposefully Changing Rules can be found by clicking on the link.

All of these resources that Paul Steinberg points to demonstrate both the evidence of how far humankind has strayed from ways of being that enhance Life Itself, AND, also what is required in order to truly have an impact on how things could be done in much more respectful and gentler ways, in the wider sphere. As Steinberg says, “Recycling Is Not Enough”.

What does this have to do with my practice as an osteopath? Well, the work I do with my clients/patients encompasses two fundamental things:

1.  finding subtle means to reflect back to people’s unconscious minds the sensory information necessary to re-engage their self-healing capability, and;

2. educating those people regarding what needs to be understood, bio-mechanically, bio-energetically, and sometimes on even more subtle levels, what they can do to discern and listen to their body signals, and to make decisions more in harmony with those signals.

In other words, it is seeing what the “rules” for healthier living are (whether they are universal, and/or specific rules dictated by unique, individual circumstances), and beginning to align decisions and actions with those rules.

 

 

 

 

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On Addiction – What Is it, and What to Do

I am realizing that I have an addiction to distracting myself – mainly via Facebook in recent times. In the excellent talk by Dr. Gabor Maté that I have provided a link to, below, he asks, and answers, the question What Is Addiction? He says that all addictions are simply ways/attempts to relieve ourselves of pain/distress.

I have watched Part 1 of this video a couple of times before. It is  only a little over 3 minutes long, and it is an excellent overview of his message. I would, however, strongly encourage you to watch Part 2, also, as I just did. It is over 18 minutes long and is a TedX talk he gave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It truly is one of the best TedTalks I have ever seen. And given how many excellent TedTalks I have seen, that is really saying something.

So, back to me and my own addiction. The truth is, I don’t know the exact origin of my own personal pain. There were challenges and traumas in my growing up years, to be sure. But in comparison with many people I have met over the course of my life – not all of of them patients, but also friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances – what I remember of my past seems trying, but not extreme. What I can not argue with, however, is the clear evidence that trauma has occurred, and that there is a marked impulse to distract from the pain of it.

Now in both parts of the talk by Maté, he speaks directly of, and quotes others also advocating for, the need to simply Be With the Pain. All addiction is essentially trying to run from the suffering, and the “surest way to Hell is to try to run from it” is the gist of one those quotes.

How does one Be with the Pain? How can I do that? Well a couple of things are crucial. The first, is what I am doing here, now: admitting it is a problem. Secondly, anyone who has identified their addiction will need compassion and support (from themselves, and others) to choose, over and over again, to Be with that Pain. Unfortunately it helps not at all for others to point out that (I’m) “You’re doing it again”. That just ends up being perceived as shaming and blaming – whether that is what was intended, or not. Recognizing instead that there is some sort of pain that I am trying to evade, and having compassion for that process, feels very supportive.

So, this writing is a reminder to myself to let my own pain be registered; to let it land. For me, that means taking breaks from online time, so that there is the space to let my mind rest. Only then can I be with my own pain. Today I spent all afternoon in the garden, raking leaves and cleaning up. That worked well for me.

I am also reminding myself here, that as a practitioner, and simply as a fellow human Be-ing, I can be compassionate with the addictive attempts by others to deaden or distract from their pain. Now of course it is easy to become an enabler of the addictions of others. But unwavering Love and Compassion can be firm and holding, while not collapsing.

There is, of course, so much more that can be said on this subject. This much is what I needed to share here and now.

 

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