By Darrel Crain, D.C.
There it was lying on my plate in front of me, a dead chicken. That was when the idea struck me, a method to easily solve the whole bird flu ‘get-ready-because-it’s-coming-for-sure’ pandemic. Well, partially anyway. I lifted my fork for another bite of the perfectly cooked, savory fowl. Delicious. My wife, who is vegetarian, politely averted her eyes and lightly dabbed the corners of her mouth with a napkin while I slowly chewed. I wondered how it was possible that dead chickens could taste so good while threatening to bring the worldwide economy to a halt at the same time?
The newspaper headlines yesterday confirmed the worst fears of the already fearful: Dead chickens were discovered this week in Upper Faraway, a remote village in Veryhighlandia. Villagers lined the streets to heartily welcome the scientists who survived the three hundred mile vertical climb riding on the backs of yaks. The somber scientists were there to count the number of dead chickens in the tiny mountain community. The last time the village was visited by outsiders was six years earlier in 1999 when computer technicians made the perilous journey. The purpose of that trip, of course, was to prepare the village for the approaching Y2K disaster. This time, the scientists quickly assured the villagers, the coming disaster was different! The only question remaining about the looming pandemic was when, not if it would arrive.
Unable to speak the natives’ language, the scientists took off their heavy arctic gloves and used improvised hand signals to communicate with the villagers. They soon discovered that several chickens were indeed hanging upside down in the town’s dead chicken shack. During the scientists’ attempts to act out strange behaviors the stricken chickens may have exhibited before dying, the villagers clapped their hands and joined in dancing the funky chicken with the learned travelers. Someone broke out warm mead and soon the big party was moved inside the town hall for a feast and heavy drinking and dancing that lasted all through the night. In the inevitable morning-after haze and confusion, neither scientist could remember what happened to their Official Avian Flu Chicken Test Kit. Ultimately they mounted their sturdy yaks to head back down the mountain, but only after each villager gave them a goodbye hug. The official report confirmed that all the dead chickens were deceased. The cause of death was listed as ‘unknown,” although foul play was suspected by one of the scientists who wrote, ‘It looked as though someone had wrung the neck of every last one.”
Back in civilization preparations continue as we get ready to face the probable instant collapse of the poultry industry as soon as the first American chicken is discovered to have the flu, as happened recently in France and other countries. People seem to have trouble believing the experts who tell them there is no way to get bird flu from eating cooked birds, so the entire industry may be brought to its knees in days. Other meat producers are beefing up production to meet the potential increased demand, although it has been reported that there are some mad cows getting in a stew over this.
Government officials have been quietly sifting through the proposed federal budget to find another few billion dollars to send over to the poor, cash-strapped pharmaceutical companies. This is to pay for millions of vaccine doses, using the avian flu strain that cannot possibly be the one that might actually cause a pandemic. This is a clever application of the traditional strategy, ‘Make dollars, not sense.” Additionally, we are stockpiling more Tamiflu, the drug called ‘useless” by the Vietnamese doctor who has actually tried it out on real avian flu patients. Company spokesmen publicly defended the effectiveness of the drug, saying their laboratory studies showed good results. The solution to this dilemma is so obvious, I’m not sure how it was missed: we need to send all avian flu patients to the laboratory where the drug was tested, where it does seem to work.
Meanwhile, in other health news from the ‘This is Not a Joke” file, children are much sicker today than they were a generation ago. The following statistics were compiled by clinical nutritionist and writer Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD and published in an article in January, 2006 in Red Flags Daily. Obesity has tripled since 1980, and juvenile diabetes is up 104 percent. Autism, once considered a problem purely caused by genetics, increased more than a thousand fold in less than a generation. The number of children with asthma is up nearly 75 percent. Life-threatening food allergies doubled in the past decade alone. The prevalence of allergies increased nearly six fold in the last 20 years. Almost one in 10 children–between four and five million kids–are diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder. Are we doing something wrong?
Converse notes that the escalation of serious child health problems coincides neatly with ‘…the increasingly aggressive vaccination schedule.” She suggests that our acceptance of an unbelievable 54 doses of vaccine by age 12, as recommended by official vaccine schedules, has possibly resulted in a cruel tradeoff. ‘…we have traded mostly benign or treatable childhood illnesses for incurable, lifelong, extremely costly disability and disease.” Many more vaccines are on the way.
As more and more heavy artillery has been lobbed into our children in the name of the war against childhood infectious disease, the collateral damage continues to grow exponentially. Judy Converse joins a growing chorus of health professionals sounding the alarm, saying, ‘It means that current vaccine policy and practice create more morbidity and mortality than they prevent in U. S. children.” Why does modern medicine ignore the importance of honoring nature, nurture and nutrition, the time-honored and effective ways to build up the health of our children? Good health remains the very best way to prepare our immune systems for any possible exposure to viruses and other challenges. As Jonathan Swift wrote, ‘The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.”
But back to World War Flu. Do you think someone should tell the health authorities that the reason we are finding bird flu all over the globe for the first time is because this is the first time we have been going around looking for it? Maybe there is still time to shift our enormous resources and adopt a different strategy. Perhaps the time has come to stop counting our dead chickens before they hatch.
Copyright © 2006 Darrel Crain – All rights reserved.
Dr. Darrel Crain
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District
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