Are we still human?
Or are we mere statistics to manipulate and exploit?
Whatever happened to co-morbidities?
You remember the term. It was drummed into our lexicon every night in the spring of 2020 by newsfeeds reminding us of the healthcare apocalypse awaiting us at any moment.
Those with co-morbidities, we were told, were especially at risk. And since most of us over 30 have something wrong somewhere in our bodies, that included us.
Whatever happened to them? Why have they seemingly vanished into thin air?
They haven’t vanished. But usage of the term has. And I have a sneaking suspicion of what the reason is.
What do co-morbidities have to do with our human-ness?
Before we go there, let’s discuss what a co-morbidity actually is. According to Wikipedia, a co-morbidity is “the presence of one or more additional conditions…with a primary condition.” The term is often used to highlight “the effect of all other conditions an individual patient might have other than the primary condition of interest”.
The word that jumps out here is ‘individual.’ Whatever co-morbidities (or just plain ailments) we have are part of who we are as unique persons. Of course, our lifestyle choices have a part — a huge part, in my opinion — to play in their development. Still, though, each of us is unique — with a unique set of genes, chromosomes, and yes, challenges.
Back to the lifestyle issue for just a moment. Consider the most common co-morbidities to COVID: hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. What do these conditions have in common? Simply this: they are brought about in a large way by diet and lifestyle choices. In other words, they are self-inflicted more often than not.
So could we actually be unique human beings with unique problems and unique power to mediate (or avoid altogether) those problems?
But maybe we’re fooling ourselves
Then again, maybe all this is nonsense. Maybe we are in fact fatalistic beings created and controlled by happenstance. We have no say in our lives, and therefore no control over anything that happens to us.
This seems to increasingly be the view of our ‘expert’ class. They not only see us as mere victims. They go to great lengths to make sure we see ourselves that very same way.
In the case of the pandemic, of course, we were going to trust the ‘experts’ — at least at first. Who among us had even a fraction of a fraction of these experts when it comes to not only medicine but virology in particular? So of course, in our fear and uncertainty, we were going to turn to their advice — and to that of the governors and mayors who had their ear.
What we didn’t know was their apparent lust for power. Oh yeah, we expect that of our politicians. But from someone with so ‘benign’ of a position as that of director of a health institute? Yet this is what we’ve encountered.
Yes, we need them (so their thinking goes). We’re too afraid and maybe too dumb to know what’s best for ourselves.
This brings us to the v______ issue
Did you notice how, as soon as the vaccines were rolled out, co-morbidities seemed to be ‘erased’ from the lexicon? (Maybe they were just another victim of cancel culture, but that’s another story for another day and time.) Now, we’re all equally at risk. Our individuality and all that goes along with it — including our lifestyle choices and medical history — doesn’t matter. We’re all potential victims and/or villains.
The vaccines are the only real and lasting answer — or so we’re told. Disagree with this and you’re branded an outcast and even a public health efficacy. Refusal to submit to the shot(s) could mean loss of livelihood, pension, or worse.
Our personhood doesn’t seem to matter anymore. We don’t matter.
Reclaiming our personhood
President John Adams said, ‘Facts are stubborn things.’ I’d prefer to put it another way: truth is truth no matter how much you try to change or stifle it. If our ‘expert class’ doesn’t quite see it that way, well sorry for them. (Not really.)
The truth is, we are all individuals. No one and no institution can take that away from us. More and more of us are awakening to this reality, and are pushing back against the ‘advice’ of the ‘experts.’
We can each reclaim our personhood. We can reclaim our uniqueness. We can reclaim our identity — not only as individuals but as a society.
This is something the ‘expert’ class never can and never will do for us. It’s up to us to do it for ourselves.