Planetary Health Statement on Covid, Natural Immunity & Vaccines
- The Covid pandemic is a tragic consequence of the modern way of life and appears to have its roots in chemical agriculture and an imbalanced diet and lifestyle, especially the ultra-processing of foods and beverages.
- The virus emerged in Yunnan, a region in southwestern China noted for its chemical farming and pesticides. The use of insecticides and other toxic sprays on monocultures appears to have contaminated flies, moths, and beetles that were consumed by insect-eating horseshoe bats and possibly pangolins (small anteaters). In 2012, a novel coronavirus killed several miners in a bat cave at Mojiang. The virology laboratory in Wuhan took diagnostic samples, and most likely this virus (96% similar to Covid-19) spread in Wuhan in 2019 and worldwide in 2020. This follows the zoonotic pattern of AIDS (contaminated chimpanzee meat in Central Africa amid former colonial plantations, mining, and deforestation); Ebola (chemically grown bananas eaten by fruit bats and monkeys); and Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever (high pesticide-treated maize eaten by mice).
- About 90% of those who die from coronavirus have preexisting conditions, including overweight and obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse. These underlying conditions largely arise from the modern way of eating, high in meat, dairy, and other animal products; white flour, white rice, and other refined grains; simple sugars, soft drinks, stimulants, and alcohol; and imitation meat, cheese, non-dairy ice cream, and other highly processed foods. New Covid variants are increasingly affecting young people who tend to observe this pattern.
- Strengthening natural health is the key to relieving the pandemic and preventing future ones. At the personal and family levels, this involves observing a balanced whole-food, plant-rich diet, and natural lifestyle. At the community, national, and global levels, this means transitioning to a plant-based natural and organic way of farming.
- Chronic healthcare and social inequities have put various racial and ethnic groups, indigenous communities, and people with disabilities at increased risk of getting sick and dying from Covid and other diseases. It is essential that systemic inequalities in society and between countries be progressively reduced, and affordable, healthful, nourishing food and safe, natural healthcare and medical treatment be made available to everyone on the planet.
- Dietary and nutritional education, including whole foods cooking classes, should immediately be introduced into schools, medical centers, nursing facilities, places of worship, businesses, restaurants, supermarkets, and other venues to educate the general public on the relation of diet and disease and offer practical guidelines to strengthen natural immunity and optimize health and well-being.
- In addition to diet, lifestyle, emotional, and environmental approaches, public hygiene (e.g., masking, handwashing, and social distancing) and other commonsense procedures will help reduce the spread of the virus and new variants.
- Medical treatment, including hospitalization, may be essential for those with serious symptoms. Safe, effective vaccines can play a role in saving lives and preventing the further spread of Covid and other novel microbes, especially for those with preexisting conditions or other major risk factors. The safety of the current Covid vaccines remains to be seen. So far, they appear to have helped bring down the mortality rate but at the tragic cost of many individual cases of death and disability. This calls for immediate correction. The vaccines’ possible disruption of hormones, effect on pregnancy, long-term impact on DNA, and overall effect on natural immune function remain unknown and a reason for caution, monitoring, and comprehensive research.
- Given the long history of medical racism and the pharmaceutical industry’s track record of criminal behavior (the opioid crisis is just the latest example), “righteous skepticism,” in the words of Vice President Kamala Harris, toward the Covid vaccines is justified. Those who opt-out (or opt-in) should be respected and not be shamed or demonized for their sincerely held beliefs or actions.
The Covid crisis is an opportunity for deep self-reflection on our relationship with nature, society, and one another. Adopting sustainable agricultural, dietary, and lifestyle practices, including visualization, prayer, meditation, exercise, making music, singing, dancing, and artistic expression, will help strengthen our natural immunity and improve personal and planetary health and well-being.