Category Archives: health

millets mela • 13-15 april • lalbagh@bengaluru

Dear all,

With reference to the above we are pleased to invite you for the” MILLETS MELA” to be held at LAL BAGH, in Banglore from 13th April to 15th April. The details are mentioned in the invitation attached. Please make it convenient  to attend with your family and friends and enjoy millets.

Looking forward to meeting you at the Mela.

In solidarity for Millets!

Dinesh

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MILLETS MELA

13 – 15 April 2012
10.00 am – 7.30 pm

Dr. Marigowda Memorial Auditorium,
Near Nursery Men’s Cooperative Society
Behind JKS Mall, LALBAGH – Bangalore
(M) 9738449133, 9481438384

Why this Mela ?

Did you know that India is home to diverse types of millets & the largest producer of millets in the world?
India, with over 60 million diabetic people, leads the world with the largest population of Diabetics – while we are bothered by the soaring medical bills and social trauma, we are yet to recognize the power of millets to manage diabetes and other chronic diseases.
You can discover more about the health benefits of millets in the mela – here is an opportunity as u can interact with experts and also the people who have benefitted with millets for their health problems – from gestational diabetes, Cardio vascular diseases, Fibromyalgia, Back Pains & the list goes on…

Come to know how Millets can help you , your family & friends

Experience all the Millets – Jola , Sajje, Raagi , Navane,  Saame,  Haaraka,  Baragu, Oodara

Learn to cook delicious & healthy Millet receipes from experts

Eat amazing Dishes & Sweets at the exclusive Millets Food Court

Interact with Millets Nutrition, Processing Technology & Cultivation Experts

Understand why Millets are missing from our mainstream

Relate to the history of these robust grains

Buy Millets regularly
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homoeopathy, homoeopathni – workshop at navadarshanam

If it had been some 30 years into the past, I would have scoffed and snorted at the ideas of louis hay, steiner, carl jung, homoeopathy and gandhi – not to mention a gazillion other luminaries and thinkers – who could be easily shotdown using quarter-backed ideas of science aided by an incredible lack of ‘life experience’ and an youthful unrest.

But, these days (consider this ‘new age’ or ‘old age’ mumbo jumbo, if you want to), I don’t dismiss anything with a left hand. Why, now I am even armed and dangerous with a resident Homeopathni – and yes, am trapped in the classic triad of – pathi, pathni and woe. Ha Haa.

This is an announcement from navadarshanam about a oneday workshop to be conducted by my dear Prof RR – on Jan 26th, 2011. Please sign up, if you want to listen to good folks talking about good things – in a beautiful setting.

Navadarshanam Trust

announces a one-day experimental workshop on

WHAT IS HOMOEOPATHY ?

from 9.30 am to 4 pm

on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Features of the workshop in brief:

  • A basic introduction to homoeopathy: origins, principles, Law of Cure, homoeopathic medicines, etc.
  • Workshop anchored by R.Rajagopalan.
  • Lunch and tea included.
  • Number of participants limited to 30.

What is the context and the objective?

One of the areas of experiment at Navadarshanam has been health and food. Friends of Navadarshanam are aware of our healthier food products, cookery workshops, fasting retreats, and the tasty and healthy food served in our kitchen. We are also concerned at the direction that modern medicine is taking in India: high costs of hospital care and medicines, overspecialization, entry of insurance, etc.

In 2011, we propose to conduct a few experimental workshops and discussions on health, wellness, disease, food as well as alternative medicine to explore questions such as:

  • What is disease and where does it come from?
  • What is meant by being ‘healthy’?
  • What is the basis of modern medicine as well as alternative medicine and how can we compare them?
  • How can we understand different systems of alternative medicine and the place of each in curing illness?
  • How do we make a choice among the systems in a given case at a given time?

Our objective is not to promote any particular system of medicine, but to share the information we have on different systems. It is to enable the participants to explore the topic further and to make informed decisions while choosing a system or even a doctor. The workshop on homoeopathy is the first in our series.

Who will present the workshop on homoeopathy?

While T.S.Ananthu will give an introduction, R.Rajagopalan will be the main presenter. They are not homoeopaths, but they have an abiding interest in alternative medicine and are long-time users of homoeopathy.

What will the workshop cover?

The workshop will attempt to answer questions such as:

  • Who founded homoeopathy, when, and how?
  • How did homoeopathy develop and how did it take such firm roots in India?
  • Where does homoeopathy fit in the larger context of alternative medicine?
  • What are basic principles of homoeopathy and what is the homoeopathic Law of Cure?
  • What are the sources of homoeopathic medicines and how are they made? Why do all the medicines look and taste alike?
  • Why is homoeopathy often denounced as quackery or just an example of the placebo effect?
  • How does a homoeopath go about prescribing medicines?
  • Do we know how homoeopathy works?
  • How is the practice of homoeopathy regulated in India?
  • Is self-medication possible?

What will the workshop not cover?

The workshop will not make you an instant expert on homoeopathy. No prescriptions will be suggested for the ailments of any of the participants.

Can one bring one’s family along as a holiday outing?

Only registered participants are welcome on January 26, 2011. There will be no general, open meeting of the study circle on this Republic Day. Please bring your families on another occasion, after giving us advance notice.

What is the fee for the workshop?

There is no specified fee for the workshop. Participants are invited to make contributions in tune with their capacity and inclination at the end of the workshop. Navadarshanam depends on donations and has no funding from outside.

How does one register for the workshop?

Please register in advance since we can accommodate only 30 participants due to limitations of meeting space and kitchen. Please send the following information by email to navadarshanam@gmail.com before January 10, 2011:

Name, address, telephone numbers

Email id

Age and gender

Current occupation

Expectations from the workshop

Please come to the workshop only if your application is accepted. If the response is heavy, we will repeat the workshop soon.

RegardsRajagopalan

Phone: 92436 05051

94488 49591 (mobile)

T.S. AnanthuGopalan- Shobha

Nagarajan-Padmini

Rajagopalan Malathi

Navadarshanam Trust, Ganganahally hamlet,

Gumalapuram Village, Thally block,

Krishnagiri Dist, Tamil Nadu 635118

Ph: 92436-15470 (Gopalan & Shobha),

92436-05053 (Ananthu), 92434-35467(Ananthu’s mobile),

92430-49163 (Nagarajan’s mobile)

www.navadarshanam.org

our daily bread (2005) – some reflections

We (at the ErdKinder environment, I mean) get (also) to ‘see’ a lot of  films and this ‘Our Daily Bread’ happened to be one of those. And,  we had some discussions centred around the film – and, had a written ‘test’ to boot, to collect the thoughts and reflections of our children. More on this, and the content of the ‘question paper’ further down this post…

For anyone who is even remotely concerned with the  food (and by extension, our dear life)  related issues that our world is facing and especially the mass production and consumption angles – this film is a heart wrenching reminder of the grim situation. The film has little commentary, anyway the moving images speak volumes and volumes – technically also, it is one of the most canonically produced pieces of cinema verite.

dvd cover / wrapper image

Now, the text of the questions that were given to our ErdKinder is given below; of course, I must also add that the children did a fabulous job of sharing their reflections, I have just finished reading them – and this good stuff can only be blamed on a good montessori environment at the school and of course the parentage of these children.  May the blames continue!

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Our Daily Bread – Unser täglich Brot (2005)
Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Questions for reflection

Hope you have thought about the film, its content, and its context. You may recollect the discussions we have had, after viewing the film. May be you even discussed with some other adults about the film; in which case, it would be even easier to collect your thoughts.

Now, read the whole set of questions below, think and write your views / answers clearly and legibly. Please note that there are NO correct, black & white answers – save a few ‘factual’ questions.

You can take up to 2 hours. Blank answers will invite my wrath – you know how it is, yeah? Answers ‘for the sake of answers’ will result in a ban for three subsequent films that have been planned.

Think and then, write!
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1. Name and explain the two phrases that we used in the post-film discussion – one to describe our attitudes about non-human things and the other about this type of documentary. ( 2 sentences)
2. What is the name of the India’s biggest abattoir and where is it located? (2 sentences)
3. Would you consider the following quote from Wendell Berry (from the book ‘What Are People For?’) – a part summary of the film? Why? Why not?  “I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.” (5 sentences)
4. In what ways a factory production mechanism makes it easy for consumers to consume food – examples of food: veggies, fruits, meat etc. (10 sentences)
5. What do you understand by the term ‘Economies of scale?’ (5 sentences)
6. You have seen quite a few documentaries. This documentary had no voice-over. Why? If some commentary were there, would it have improved our understanding? What is the point? (5 sentences)
7. How many different types of harvesters did we see in the movie? Name the contexts. Why can’t we have only one kind of harvester to do all kinds of harvesting? (5 sentences)
8. In many of the harvesting farms, we saw various kinds of labourers. What was the single most striking feature of them? Why? (4 sentences)
9. There were a few specific camera angles that were repeatedly used in the film for effect. What are those effects? Could you name any of the shoot sequences?
10. Why were there some long shots of workers eating and having their lunches – with uncomfortable close-ups? (5 sentences)
11. You may recollect the hormones that were injected in animals to make them fatter / heavier. What are the physiological & psychological repercussions for us, if we consume them. (5 sentences)
12. Why do you think the pesticide sprayers had masks on, whereas the fruit pickers had only hand gloves at best? (3 sentences)
13. Obviously a whole of lot of cleaning is being done at frequent intervals in all these farms / factories. What happens to the things that are removed thus? (5 sentences)
14. Some of us were laughing and joking about some of the scenes. What were those scenes? What do you think are the reasons for this behaviour? (10 sentences)
15. The title is taken from the Bible – ‘Give us our Daily Bread’ – now, what is the connection? (5 sentences)
16. What do you think is the main aim of the film? Do you think it comes thru’ clearly? In what ways the film can be improved, given what you think is the aim? Do you think some scenes were not required? Were some shots overdone? If you were to convey the same message, would you do it differently? Explain with details. (50 sentences)

Happy healthy food eating, and oh well, presenting your views too!

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As I said earlier, the children did very well. Now that gives me hope!

Here is the IMDB link for the film. The webpages of the film are also  very nicely done.

effects of soda and “junk” food on children

This document was created by young B. Ashok, a NammaShaale parent.  Thanks so much, Ashok  for all the trouble and much else.

(This doc was sent to me a few months back, I was supposedly waiting for an updated version though it had apparently already been sent to me, lost in the gmail cackle, backed-up, lost, disk crashed, deep angst expressed over the missing stuff by the author and spouse, they were promised ‘as soon as I receive the mail again from them, I would put it up,’ waited , and waited, gave-up again, but this doc was retrieved finally from my aging & clickety-clacking harddisk, reformatted *&^$% and reproduced here in toto. For some undebugged reason, in spite of spending lots of time, I have been unable to format this post to my satisfaction – sorry.

*phew* Everything takes work and time. Henry David Thoreau says ‘simplify, simplify’ – but ‘what must be done, has to be done cheerfully’ – so heh!)

Hope the readers of the blog  find this ‘ready reference’ document of Ashok useful.

Stock market tip: All those parents who have invested in cola companies should exit immediately, because they want their children to exist!

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Effects of Soda and “Junk” Food on Children

B Ashok

I’d like to start by expressing a sincere wish that this document no longer be required! I hope that as parents, we are able to learn enough and outgrow this document. When most of us who are parents of young children today were growing up, we did not have soda or sugary “junk” food available in plenty as today. Most of us were lucky enough to receive home cooked meals on a daily basis and grew up on a healthy diet. We only consumed soda, ice cream or other sugary items once in a while and it used to be a treat. Today every little shop sells soda, chips, chocolate and other creamy or sugary items. Irrespective of where you may live, your children are exposed to these on a regular basis. Many children are given pocket money to buy these items daily. Added to this is today’s birthday culture. A birthday celebration today includes cake, soda, chocolate, chips and many other such items. We need to stop for a minute and analyze the effects of all of these foods on our little children. As a starting point, let us also evaluate what changes we need to bring about in the birthday celebration activities both at school and in our homes.

Let us analyze the effects of soda in detail to figure out why this may be happening.

Recent statistics show that the so-called “old age” diseases such as osteoporosis, joint pain, diabetes, etc. are beginning to show up in the younger ages. Other conditions like cavities and obesity are also beginning to occur in children. Countries in the West that were rampantly exposed to the soda culture have realized its effects after the serious repercussions they faced. Today, many countries discourage the use of soda and high sugar diets for adults and children.

The first issue with soda is that each 20 oz can of soda contains 17 teaspoons of sugar and 250 calories . These are “empty” calories with little nutritional value. Soft drinks comprise the leading source of added sugar in our diets, providing the average teenage child with the total recommended allowance for sugars from all sources for the entire day. Increasing one’s consumption of sugary soft drinks significantly increases the risk for both weight gain and diabetes. An added side effect is that it also promotes tooth decay since soda bathes the teeth with sugar water for long periods of time.

A second issue of soda is that it tends to replace milk or milk based drinks in children. Decreased milk consumption means that children are no longer getting required amounts of calcium in their diets. Since the 1980s, energy intake from milk has dropped by 38 percent in the United States . This is the same period of time during which soda consumption has skyrocketed.
Last but not the least – everything we do, including our life style and diet, push us into the acidic range. Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are all digested down to acids. Even metabolic functions and exercise create some acids (lactic acid). Cola and soda are in the acidic range of 2 PH. Seven on a pH scale is neutral. Any level below 7 is acidic and any level above 7 is alkaline. Note that this is a logarithmic scale, so every point on this scale is 10 times more acidic (i.e. 7 to 6 is 10 times). So soda is 100,000 times more acidic than water! When our body is acidic, it promotes illness and poor health since acidic pH level is the prime environment for bacteria, virus and even cancer cells. Studies show that it takes about 32 glasses of alkaline water at a pH of 9 to neutralize acid from one 12 oz. can of soda .

Now let us look at the effect of other “junk” food, in particular sugary foods.
All of the food that we eat is turned into glucose. It is important that the levels of glucose are kept within limits. Too much is toxic for the body and too less will make us tired and lethargic. Foods such as refined carbohydrates and sugars are rapidly digested, hence making the blood sugar levels high rather quickly. When we eat too much of sugary food, our body protects against the high glucose level by producing more insulin. This in turn reduces the blood sugar level quickly and has other side effects such as sluggishness, irritability / mood swings, craving for sweets or other stimulants like coffee, and (worst for children) poor concentration or fuzzy thinking . The reduction in blood sugar levels sometimes causes us to crave more sweets, resulting in a vicious cycle. The best way to counter this is by having a balanced diet that includes sufficient protein and fibre (in particular organic grains).

So what can we do? Offer children water instead of soda. Stop buying as much soda and “junk” food for our children. Sugar-free juices such as fresh squeezed fruit juice or even packaged juices with no added sugar (e.g Real Activ) are great alternatives. These do not have added sugar and tend to be more natural. Even Club Soda with homemade lemonade is a better option. Another alternative to consider for birthday celebrations are nut based sweets such as kaju katli or badam barfi since the high protein in the nuts helps to counter the sugar high. Instead of creamy or sugary items, parents are encouraged to think about other items to distribute on birthdays such as stationery or art material that the children can use in school.

Finally, the best way to teach our children these habits is by our example. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to set a good example for them to grow with. As parents, we are their first teacher. Let us talk to our children about the effects of eating such food. And limit the usage of these so-called “fun” foods to fewer occasions, not only for them but for ourselves as well. Let us give our children the gift of healthy bodies and healthy minds.

References:

  1. U.C. Berkeley Center for Weight and Health, 2003
  2. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, October 2004
  3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/2335677/Can-soda-Kill
  4. The Food Doctor (http://www.thefooddoctor.com)

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NammaShaale has taken some concrete steps in this direction a few months back – the parents and their children are already aware of it – and surprisingly, no one seems to be missing the soda and most of ‘junk’ at the school anymore… Ashok & co and many other parents had been lobbying for healthy habits for quite a while now. Thanks to all of you!

mAss media swine, paranoia in times of flu…

Much apologies to the innocent Swine, Ass and other animals. I have a lot of respect for them, for the contributions that they have made and continue to make to us, human beings… But whether we are worth their efforts, it is definitely a moot question.

Okay, I literally burnt the midnight CFL, wrote quite a few posts like a man possessed, as I felt that there is way too much of paranoia but very little research and level-headed  information that is available – I am sick of all the disinformation and stupidity that surrounds this latest sensationalism about this demented mutant monster deranged  ninja mad A(H1N1) virus-  am talking about the poor swine flu and the way most of the world is behaving irrationally… Not to mention the next to useless thing called Tamiflu, which is touted as the magic medicine!

It is obvious that with the incessant fear-mongering by the mAss media, and the irrational psychosis that is created, the immunity of the whole nations will go down, if the disinformation goes unchecked…

I remember the paranoia and all that hoopla around SARS (does any one even remember the expansion), bird flu virus and AIDS in the recent past. What a waste of precious resources like time, energy, emotions and money… Sheesh!

The manipulative mass media swine and a massively gullible us is a potent & symbiotic combination, sadly.

Disinformation, Paranoia everywhere, but not an Iota of truth to drink…

So, I have bunched together all the posts that I posted  related to this swine flu and have provided links to them in a consolidated post; to make it doubly sure that one gets to the posts directly – on the slightly rearranged nammashaale blog, on the ‘right hand side panel’ there is this link called: FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul… – just below the FAQs on ‘education’; this is that consolidated post – there is also a post on the chikungunya and dengue. Please read, reflect & relax.

The aspects that are covered in the set of posts (in the form of questions and answers) are:

  • A mandatory disclaimer
  • Anatomy of any illness – including swine flu – why do we get any illness or dis-ease at all?
  • The basics of virus, infection and spreading – how really severe this Swine Flu is, in the context of other competing deadly diseases.
  • Debunking the overstated ‘pandemic’ nature of the flu
  • The specifics of A(H1N1) swine flu virus and how to avoid it – Swine Flu FAQ – all answers are here, along with questions. (A = answered / asked / avoided / alluded)
  • Debunking the myths around this Tamiflu – a popular and primarily useless drug
  • Details of the virulent & deadly Idiot Flu Virus – A write up on the little known, but dangerous and widely prevalent Idiot Flu Virus variants (N0H0P3, H0P3L355 ) that no one is telling you about.
  • Some useflu tips and ideas on rumour mongering, just in case someone needs it -incredible & exclusive professional tips on Rumour mongering around the Swine Flu business. (Don’t let go of this GREAT chance to spread vile rumours; earn a lot of goodwill from your conversation-partners, while working-them-up from home; after all, everyone is EAGER to spread bad news. Incidentally, you only need a telephone and/or Internet connection)
  • Some good online articles, all angst laden – to provide counter points to the mass hysteria. (to be done)

We may do well to remember that: Living is FATAL. Being human and being born is a TERMINAL condition. The reward for life is moving-on. Death is but natural, virus or us.

But then, life is fun – especially rubbishing popular misconceptions, venting spleen and ranting, that is…

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Other health & swine flu related posts are here:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

virus, infections, swine flu etc – FAQ/basics

This post of the illustrious  Swine Flu series deals with the basics, to give a reasonable grounding on the fascinating life forms called viruses as also some relevant details of Swine Flu.

It would be useful, if you could read the posts / articles that are given in an order in:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

This is in a Q & A form like the other posts in the series.

What is a virus?

Viruses are cutesy, fascinating life forms. They are nothing to be afraid of.  Don’t worry. They don’t even dress up like an Aamir Khan in Ghajini. (Ghajini is a sad & tragic Hindi language remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento; believe me, there are some very good films and film makers from India!)

Seriously, viruses are those wonderful subcellular entities that are capable of assembling themselves from their raw mateials. It is like, if someone hacked away my body parts (someone just might, given the sarcastic naure of the blog posts) – then by some magic, I could reassemble myself. MAGIC!

Not only that, Viruses can replicate themselves and multiply endlessly. They can change some of their characteristics along the way. They can borrow characteristics from other fellow viruses. They somehow seem to ‘know’ that they have to exchange genetic materials with other fellows, to ensure their own species diversity and survival! We actually have to learn a thing or two from viruses, I tell you!

But the conditions have to be suitable for them to go plug themselves onto hosts from whom to derive raw materials, and thrive. They can’t make their own raw materials.

These happy go lucky viruses incidentally use our bodies (among others) to get their raw materials so that they can ‘go forth and multiply.’  They must have read The Bible too, I think…

In the process of propagating themselves, they may weaken their hosts. That’s where the myths and the horror start. I meant the rumours, actually.

Can I have a little bit more information on viruses and how they are constructed?

Sure. Viruses are non cellular life forms that have RNA or DNA (both generally referred to as the basic building blocks of life) within a protective sheath of some protein. They feed off cells/ bacteria and do all the things in the previous answer.

Two examples of how a virus is structured to feed off a cell /  bacterium (host) and how they propagate, after entering a host are provided below.

virus1

The above scanned image and the one below have  been ‘borrowed’ from one of my alltime favourtite books –  Godel, Escher, Bach – An Eternal Golden Braid – by Douglas R Hofstadter.

virus2

I suppose, both images are lucid and self explanatory.

What is Influenza??

This is a viral infection that is common in birds and mammals; human beings get infected by it too. In a normal year (for a given value of ‘normal’) approximately 40,000 people die of complications involving among others, Influenza viruses, in USA alone. This Influenza is not even called an epidemic in spite of these kinds of numbers/casualty, leave alone them being a flash in the pandemic!

What is this Flu? Flew? What?

It is nothing but a shortened form of Influenza, period.

What is this Swine Flu, then?

As I mentioned earlier, these viruses are capable of borrowing notes and stuff from other friendly & conniving viruses.

Mammals and Birds have been having their own virus infections (belonging to the Influenza family); at some point, nearly 100 years back, due to contact with human beings, the original flu viruses which then were only with Pigs ‘learnt’ and mutated to infect human beings. Still that infection could spread only from Pigs to human beings; now, lately, these fascinating viruses have learnt to move from human being to human being… This is the reason for all the hoopla. By itself it is not dangerous – which fact we shall elaborate upon further down this post.

So, how come we are getting affected?

See, our human immune systems do not readily recognize these new strains. So, if the immune systems are already compromised by our bad lifestyles, then they cannot handle this virus at all.But if they are not badly compromised then, the body can learn to deal with this new virus-kid on the block – with the help of that impossible pharmaceutical factory that our brain is!

Oh, that’s why people die, if they are infected by the Swine Flu virus?

Huh?

Viruses, after ‘infecting’ the hosts, will normally weaken and look for other ‘learning opportunities’ so to say. They are also not interested in killing their hosts as that will jeopardize their own survival and their own propagation (it is amazing that the survival ‘instincts’ are available in a few DNA strands or RNA in a give virus!)

While it is possible that the A(H1N1) virus could mutate and could become a dangerous virus, it is also possible for it to weaken and become mild. Typically the latter happens, as it was with the SARS and Bird Flu.There is no special or specific reason for the viruses to behave otherwise.

As of now, the Swine Flu Virus is not dangerous at all, anyway.

At this juncture, I would like to point to a great popular science article by David Fraser Harris: A Chemical Basis of Life. This lyrical 1912 article is available online. Enjoy!

When are we likely to know the final verdict?

What do you mean?

As I have been saying, Swine Flu Virus is still mild and no life has been lost ONLY because of the virus. It is likely to weaken and become milder and scope itself out, with the human beings as a species, developing immunity for it.

In my opinion, it could take uptill 2010 to get to know how we are faring – if the mAss media hasn’t already weakened the population by their manipulative fear-mongering, that is.

I am not very confident – what if there is this runaway mutation of the virus?

Your question is quite paranoid, but I would still answer that.

You should understand and realize that we are always surrounded by undesirable things like viruses, bacteria, and fungi – not to speak of the Cell phone signals, TV Chatter, ambient noises and Times of India!

And, these viruses / bacteria / fungi could be pathogenic to us or may not be. Even if they are pathogenic, it all depends on their virulence, and most importantly, our ability (immunity and level-headedness) to face them.  There could be various combinations of these competing forces.

You should also understand that UNLESS we are frequently / periodically exposed to the pathogens (except TV & Times of India), our bodies would not know how to deal with them. You would be surprised to hear that even as I type this and even as you read my posts, your body – that fantastically designed pharmaceutical factory of your own – is learning and devising ways to survive, sustain and grow.

Further, the history of virus mutations and the self preserving & propagating nature of these little forms of life, will dictate that they become less virulent over a period of time as they go from host to host, even as the human beings develop effective systems to handle them – without us EVER noticing what’s going on!

The runaway mutation and ghastly destruction of humanity by a Virus, typically happens or threatens to happen only in badly written science fiction & in films or in the mouths of half-baked jackasses in the field – especially those TV experts and clueless doctors (not all of the latter, though).

But still, can you elaborate on the varieties of reactions in or bodies that the Swine Flu Virus prompts – you were talking about the ‘combinations of the competing forces’? And, may be I will decide what is likely to happen to me!

I really appreciate your curiosity. This combined with hope and optimism, will see that you and your loved ones will ‘go forth and multiply!’.

There are many levels of reaction in our bodies that will be the direct results of invasions from any pathogen – including this particular Swine Flu Virus… Let us handle them one by one:

  • You may be a completely healthy (both physically and mentally) person with a positive outlook on life (is there a difference between health & optimism?); in this case, since you are obviously a person with significant immunity, your body/brain will deal with it, with you not even NOTICING that some virus is being appropriately handled. In other words, you will be healthy as usual and nothing will happen. Boring, eh?
  • You could be a healthy person but may suffer from occasional immune problems. Your body and mind are not in exact congruence. You are given to bouts of unhappiness. The body is not able to quickly respond with alacrity. You see a lot of TV. In this case you may have some reaction to the infection, it could even be significant, but you would recover.
  • You could be not a very healthy person. And you may have compromised immune systems. You may be very unhappy about life & what it has meted out to you. You may be repeatedly falling ill, while not in turn developing immunity. You may see a lot of TV and to top it, may even regularly read Times of India too, the horror. the horror! So you will go on to have chronic illnesses and show symptoms like Heart problems, Asthma, Skin problems, the works. If you could recover from the virus (or any other pathogen) attack, then it will take months or even years for you to get back to the normal mode. (you may remember  about Dengue and Chikungunya, which have these kinds of lasting and lovely impact!)
  • You are in real ill health. You watch a lot of ‘breaking news’ and revel in seeing and discussing disasters. You only read the gossip columns in Times of India – which means, everything else in that darned paper except the Crossword puzzle.You feel that the world is a treacherous place and others are out to get you. You hate life and happiness. Your body cooperates with your mindset. So you would have no ability (read: reason) to respond to pathogens. You have a significantly compromised immune system and suffer from a combination of cardiac, digestive, breathing and renal problems. (Get Will soon – that is, be prepared to please write a Will soon!)

I think we should map ourselves to one of the four levels or somewhere in between and work ourselves upwards, without giving up…

Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You know that there are various kinds of pathogens that float around us all the time  – and there are SOOOOOO many people who can potentially get all these illnesses. Then think about these paradoxical situation, as to how & why only a very few get the illnesses?

Actually it is NOT paradoxical at all.

Go on, get a life. A healthier one at that!

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Other swine flu & health related posts are here:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

An interesting & clueful web article – The Reality of the Swine Flu was a major ‘inspiration’ for some parts of this faq, and is acknowledged with thanks.

swine flu – avoiding, getting used to – faq

So, you want to avoid getting infected by swine flu. Or you may want to help your dear family members, not to get it. Either way I must say, it is very noble desire.

Have you already read: virus, infections, swine flu etc – basics? Have you read the other posts such as: mAss media swine, paranoia in times of flu…  – anatomy of any illness (swine flu, for example)  – swine flu: debunking the pandemic (hic) swine flu posts: a claimer etc etc? If you want to read the whole series on swine flu – check out: FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

The above links/posts give you some context for this FAQ.

What do you think of Tamiflu? Will it help me in this swine flu business?

NO. I am afraid, it would depend on your faith in the drug. Really.

I don’t think Tamiflu could be useful. Please do your own research and find out if you are not convinced about my arguments/research(hic).

My views: Swine Flu: Tamiflu myths & disinformation  

Is there is a Vaccine for the Virus?

No. Not yet and may not be possible. This is because, the viruses are brilliant beings and they keep morphing and mutating at every available opportunity. Hence there are many strains of virus that are all grouped under A(H1N1) virus types. In fact, there are more than 1500 or so variants of this virus, as I write this blog. And, developing vaccines takes time – at least 6 months. And then, there have to be field trials and validations. By that time, the variants would have already morphed in another gazillion ways.

Vaccines sound tantalizing. But they are not going to be effective and even there, when one wants them. Attention: I said wants and not needs. I hope you get the difference! 

In my not so very humble opinion, all vaccines are suspect, anyway.

I see that there are people wearing facemasks and respirators all over the place. Will it help prevent the spread of the disease?

No. A resounding NO. Even in the normal run-of-the-mill Influenza, the masks and respirators do not help. There is NO clear scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of facemasks and respirators in protecting lives / humans against influenza type infections; but, like everything else, psychologically it may help. That’s all.

One thing – if you keep wearing the same mask, thanks to the moisture that is trying to get out of your nose along with your breath, a nice colony of microbes can develop near your nose. Since this portion is likely to be slightly wetter than the rest of the mask, it will also attract and retain good talents like dirt & other cutesy microbes. If not anything else, the Mask will be useful – to make you fall ill in one way or the other, that is!

Oh, another thing. Your children may get mighty amused by the mask angle – so, to this extent, wearing these appendages may increase the happiness levels of the family.

And yes, we can make fashion statements about these masks, traipse up and down on the Brigade Road and Commercial Street (if you are in Bangalore, but equivalent traipsable, catwalky kind of places should be available in any city) and generally ‘accessorize’ them. Am sure, Gunjan Jewellers (this is off Adultery road, NOT Infantry Road)  could come up with an idea of a platinum wire reinforced, precious stone embedded, Gold fabric woven masks, for the new degeneration fashionistas and paranoid androids.

The cell phone makers can cross-sell these masks and have a small mike installed in the mask which could have a Bluetooth ‘BT’ connectivity to the headsets… The works!

We may be fearful, ill-informed and stupid, but why do we need to let go off the business opportunities… eh?

Why do the A(H1N1) variants of Swine Flu attack the human beings at all?

I would instead answer the question – why would the human beings gat attacked at all, by virus, bacteria, whatever… Pleaer reread the section: anatomy of any illness (swine flu, for example).

In fact, we don’t get attacked by any virus or a barcterium for that matter, but actually we invite them to please wake us up about our body’s sad immunity levels.

But there are news reports of  people dying and others crying and mAss media braying and governments praying and all that!

You surely are a victim of well, um – your own gullibility. Sorry.

Did you read that rant: swine flu: debunking the pandemic ?

Does the virus attack ALL people? How come only a few in USA are only affected as opposed to what the mAss media would like you to believe? Do you have any idea about how many are possibly infected and how many have actually died?  

Again, how come only a few in India are only affected? Shouldn’t all of us be dropping dead by the roadside by now?

And again, how many of the so called swine flu deaths happened only because of the reasons solely attributable to the A(H1N1) virus? It is precisely zero.

How do you explain the deaths due to this virus then?

See, it is true that this A(H1N1) debilitates and makes the upper respiratory tract weaker. But this alone is NOT responsible for the death or the ‘attack.’ It is even able to enter and play with the body only because of  the weakened immune systems. Anyway, typically, such people could die of pneumonia due to fluid collection in their lungs. This fluid collection itself is due to the harmonal work of the body to ward off the effects of the virus.

You should also understand that, so far the virus (not directly) has resulted in the deaths of only a few  people who have been having at least one or more of the following:

  • Totally or partially compromised immune systems
  • Preexisting complications involving cardiac, renal, nuero histories
  • Indifferent physique

In my not so very humble opinion, as a flu strain, so far, it isn’t very deadly at all. It is not that people just dropped dead because of the flu, while in the midst of viewing their favourite TV serial or some other useless 20-20 cricket tamaasha.

Okay, what should I do, to escape the swine flu?

Three things:

  1. Healthy food practices.
  2. Healthy thought practices.
  3. Healthy practices, period.

No, what should I DO, to escape the swine flu?

Wash your hands &, wash your face and wash the ‘other’ body parts when required.

  1. Cook some nice, healthy food.
  2. Eat good food at appropriate times.
  3. Go to bed early, after smashing up your TV.
  4. Sleep properly.
  5. Get up early in the morning, watch the sunrise.
  6. Read some good books.
  7. View some good films.
  8. Listen to good music.
  9. Stop going to work at that Corpotation. Enough is enough. Do something that interests you, instead. Besides, your family needs you.
  10. Do some physical work, to work up your system.
  11. Meditate. Think.

‘nuff said (rather ranklingly self-righteously), eh? 

In other words, be absolutely NORMAL. Get it?

What should I avoid, to escape the swine flu?

It is rather simple – a bunch of 4 simple ideas, that’s all:

  • First, you should NOT read or view or listen to any terror news about the swine flu, from any of the mAss media.
  • Second, you should positively avoid obsessive, compulsive rumour-mongers. As all health advisories say: ‘Avoid contact with sick people.’
  • Third, arbitrary Doctors (of medicine), who are abysmally clueless
  • Fourth, the deleterious food, life and other allied practices.

May you and your loved ones live as long as you / them want to live!

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Other swine flu & health related posts are here:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

Swine Flu: Tamiflu myths & disinformation

I thought the Swine Flue hysteria was bad enough. But, to be honest, I wasn’t ready for the mass of disinformation around this Tamiflu. So this post seeks to understand the drug, tries to lay down the details in a layman’s language, thusly proving that this drug is next to useless in dealing with the pandemic-hic.

Oh yeah, sorry. It is of course quite useful. It is effective in filling the topline, bottomline and all the other lines in between for the companies that manufacture the generic drug – Oseltamivir Phosphate. It gives enough scope for clueless doctors and hospitals to ‘prescribe’ this wonder drug. One cannot ask for more. Won’t our GNP go sky high??

Thank GOD, we have Tamiflu  – otherwise, this Swine Flu will get us one way or the other! Unfortunately this drug is not freely available off the counter at our pharmacies/drugstores… What a pity…

Please come near me. Remove your shirt/vest – I just want to check whether you have a belly button. May be you are from some other planet. May be you extra-terrestrials process information differently there – wherever the heck that you come from, that is..

What makes you think that Tamiflu will solve the Swine Flu ‘pandemic?’ Do you still believe that a certain Santa Claws or a Banta Talons comes sailing in thru the chimney and drops gifts in to the greedily waiting socks? Do you still preserve your fallen teeth, in the hope that some darn Tooth Fairy will make a nice pair of dentures for you? What?

When did you even do your homework last, if at all

But, aren’t there anti viral drugs for the Swine Flu? Can you tell me more about these drugs please! Can’t you see I am anxious?

There are basically two classes of drigs / anti virals that are touted around for the Swine Flu infection.

  1. Inhibitors of neuraminidase – They go under two generic names – Oseltamivir Phosphate  and Zanamivir Phosphate. The former is marketed under the name Tamiflu by Roche Laboratories worldwide. The latter is marketed as Relenza, by GlaxoSmithKline worldwide.
  2. Adamantanes – such as Amantadine and Rimantadine.

Adamantanes? How come I never heard about them?

You see, there is no advertisement blitz about these. They are derivatives of petroleum bye-products. In any case they are not effective and our friend A(H1N1) virus shows heavy resistance to Adamantanes – at least in USA and Mexico.

I seriously think that if we unleash the Indian medical representatives, they would make a big success out of these drugs. I see a business opportunism lurking in there.

 But, I suppose these Tamilflu and Relenza are effective. Aren’t they?

Am not at all sure about this. These are NOT vaccines. There are three issues that need to be addressed before the TamiFlu (a Roche product) types are taken as miracle medicines, which will solve the Swine Flu issue once & for all… 

  1. Beyond 48 hours of the inception of the infection, the TamiFlu has not been established to work. But, by the time, a patient realizes that he/she has been displaying (Swine) flu like symptoms, it will be too late, anyway. Too late does not mean, it is endgame for the patient. It merely means, the Tamiflu is next to useless in this context. It is also a sheer waste of money.
  2. It only inhibits the spread of virus under some special conditions.
  3. From the webpages of Roche (http://www.tamiflu.com/treat.aspx ) I am reproducing the following:
    1. “Adults felt better 30 percent faster (1.3 days) than flu patients who did not take TAMIFLU
    2. “Children felt better up to 26 percent faster (1.5 days) than flu patients who did not take TAMIFLU

What does this mean? Even if you DON’T take Tamiflu, you will ANYWAY improve in the next 1.5 days, at the outer limit! So what is that the patient supposedly benefitting from? Just one and a half days of saved leave, is it? This Tamiflu is a costly myth. I rest my case.

So, what does this Tamiflu thingie do?

I am going to quote from a Roche lab document (available off: http://www.rocheusa.com/products/tamiflu/pi.pdf) and am going to excerpt and comment on the same – the idea is to make the statements simple enough (minimal use of jargon) without resorting to over simplification.

p1-1

This merely states that the drug in the Tamiflu tablet is ester hydrolysed (in the digestive system of the human being – by esterases produced in the lever) and inhibits the influenza virus from releasing the viral particles, which could potentially replicate the virus and multiply. I would say, it is a fair enough statement – but it is a moot point how effective it is the organic phosphatic salt (that Tamiflu is primarily made up of) conversion to Carboxylate  is. There is no detail of how this is effectively done. In all probablity not much research has been done in this pharmacokinetic direction, because, if it had been done, the information would have been shared. In my opinion, if Roche wants to make a killing in the market, then it had better share all relevant information. If it doesn’t, then, the motives of the firm would be suspect.

p2-2

 When an antiviral drug is tested in a laboratory for efficacy, the drug in required quantities is introduced in to a suitable cell culture. The effect of the drug is studied. Then, it is tested on animals that are akin to human beings in certain respects, unfortunately. They would typically be mice, rabbits, sheep etc – all mammals. And then the drug would be tested on human beings  – this would involve the so called   ‘controlled’ experiments with placebos and double blind methodologies, for a starter… If there is good correlation that exists between various stages of the sickness / clearing of illness between the test subjects – then the drug would be deemed to be worthy of use in a specific context.

But, what we find here is that there is no relationship or linkage or correlation. Roche is actually admitting that the lab test results and the effect on human heings show no connection at all! Amazing!!

p2-3

Why? Why werent interaction studies conducted with vaccines? Fears of possible side effects because of possible deleterious effects of interaction? And again, what is this non impairment of normal humoral activity? Who decides what is normal and what is abnormal?

p2-4

If Tamiflu takes away so much esterases from our livers, then won’t it impair the functioning of them? How will ester splitting (into alcohols and acids) will effectively happen?  Won’t this be a deleterious side-effect? So, Tamivlu can potentially lead to heavy load on the lever and hence to a possible liver malfunction?

p2-5

Hmm… I don’t understand this at all. How can one give only a single dose and then study the effects? Is it possible for a child to get cured of swine flu in a single dose? Amazing. You can always give a trivial dose of the medicine and then assume that it would not give rise to undesirable side effets. What a convenient way of doing research, sadly so.

Should we therefore assume that a real dose of Tamiflu is a bad thing for children? I think it is a YES.

Okay, can you give some possible side effects of Tamiflu?

Thanks to some good FDA regulations in USA, the pharma companies have to publish all critical data including the side effects of their drugs. The companies also publish some information to escape legal action (such as class action suits) – and hope that the fear-gripped population wouldn’t read the smallprint…

I am reproducing content from the Roche pages on Tamiflu (http://www.tamiflu.com/sideeffects.aspx) for your edification.

“Rare but serious skin reactions and allergic reactions have been reported. Stop taking TAMIFLU and call your doctor if you experience any of these reactions, as they could be very serious.”

“People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of self injury and confusion shortly after taking TAMIFLU and should be closely monitored for signs of unusual behavior. A healthcare professional should be contacted immediately if the patient taking TAMIFLU shows any signs of unusual behavior.”

“The most common side effects of TAMIFLU are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting.”

There is some more such dire stuff at the webpage cited.

Um, what are the side effects of Relenza?

I am reproducing the information from Relenza’s own website – http://www.relenza.com/

“In studies, the most common side effects with RELENZA have been headaches; diarrhea; nausea; vomiting; nasal irritation; bronchitis; cough; sinusitis; ear, nose, and throat infections; and dizziness. Other side effects that have been reported, but were not as common, include rashes and allergic reactions, some of which were severe.”

So, given the side effects, what do you think of these Relenza and Tamiflu types?

See, I started of with the premise that these drugs are next to useless. But, now I think they are more dangerous to us human beings, rather than to viruses!

In fact, we would be paying to these pharma companies to make us more sick than curing ourselves… Then they call sell us more drugs to cure us of the side effects of these drugs. It is profits all the way for these companies. thanks to gullible us.

I believe that all the above litany of woes of these drugs – they are not the side effects, but intended effects.

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One can go on and on AND on, laughing at the inadequacies, lies, statistics, word hijinx, in the document. But am bored to shred the whole 23 page document of Tamiflu.  It is not challenging enough.

The moral of the whole write-up is : Tamiflu is actually very good. Not for Swine Flu, but for Roche & GsK, that is! Ha.

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Other swine flu & health related posts are here:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

swine flu: debunking the pandemic (hic)

In this post, I deal with the numbers, politics, greed and mass hysteria surrounding the disease.

The swine flu itself and its supposed antiviral drug – tamiflu are dealt with separately.

Isn’t the number of fatalities attributed to Swine Flu startling? Isn’t it scary to think of the future with vast populations dropping dead on the pavements and sidewalks?

No. Not at all.

May be you should stop reading trashy & sickly science fiction and viewing stupid TV channels that fuel meaningless paranoia.

What? Isn’t this Swine Flu a pandemic?  

No. If you want proper and realistic examples of pandemic – that would be a Barbie or a Hannah Montana or a Google (all from US) and say, an Aamir Khan or a Mayawati or a Sonia Gandhi or for that matter, an Arundhati Roy – all from our India.

Why? Surely an UN organization like WHO, is a respectable entity. Why did they do it then? Why did they declare the swine flu, a pandemic?

I don’t want to give any ‘conspiracy theory’ orientation to this. Though there is some subconscious line of conspiratorial goings-on that probably are happening.

My motto is: Never ascribe anything to Malice, that can be sufficiently explained by stupidity.

In this line of thought, WHO is not malicious at all? What punful rhetoric, eh?

Okay, why do you think the deaths attributed to the Swine Flu are not startling?

Obviously you don’t have any idea about the quote attributed to Joseph Vissariyanovich Stalin:  ‘A single death is a tragedy, but a million – a statistic’

The mAss media have been projecting individual deaths and are successfully propagating & spreading the irrational fear and paranoia. Apparently, they perhaps find that there is something sexy about this Swine Flu! Or they are plainly stupid. More likely they are malicious, because they get to mightily benefit by it – read: viewership ratings, advertisements and sponsorships! ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching…

Now look at the real and gory statistic of India and of the world. Let us think for ourselves how come we seem to be soooo bothered about this stupid swine flu business…

What is the no of people who have died of Swine Flu so far? Any idea? We will look at it after digesting the death data pertaining to other phenomena…

Tuberculosis: About 500,000 people die of Tuberculosis every year in India; this amounts to some 1400 deaths daily!  The viruses responsible for TB are much more virulent and spread widely and swifty than our friend A(H1N1) virus.

Smoking: About 900,000 individuals die every year in India, for reasons that are directly attributable to smoking; this amounts to some 2500 people every day!

Alcoholism: Some 500,000 people die of alcoholism every year in India. This amounts to some 1400 deaths per day!

Traffic accidents: About 260 people die per day in India, because of road accidents. The comparative figure for USA is about 100.

Take the case of the existing variants of good ol’  Influenza: In the USA, that is! Every year some 40,000 die because of complications resulting from Influenza. This translates to about 110 per day, in US alone!

Hunger and starvation: Everyday close to 37,000 people die of starvation and lack of food, of which about 30,000 are children! Unbelievable, but disgusting truth!

Waterborne diseases, AIDS etc: Close to 3ooo people die everyday – worldwide!

Farmer suicide deaths: This is about 1500 per month, in India. This works out to 30 per day, unbelievable…

Now, slightly going away from the tragic and wasteful deaths of human beings…

Species extinction: Thanks to our wayward ways, circa 100 SPECIES are becoming extinct everyday!

No noise about these things. No hoopla! No concern at all. No ‘breaking noose.’ Quietly swept under the carpet.

If these are not pandemic situations, what else could be?

Contrast this with the figure for the Swine Flu virus: As per WHO, till 6 July 2009 — Cumulative Total number of confirmed cases of deaths attributable to  H1N1 World Wide: 429 deaths. ONLY!

I rest my case. I think this swine flu thingie has some unknown/sexy celebrity status. There is no other explanation. Think about Briney’s spheres. Think about Aishvirus Rai. Think hard. Think very hard. There is nothing that warrants a celebrity status for them, in them. They are merely a mAss media creation. May be this swine flu is a figment of mAss media imagination. Or our collective delirium…

The ‘pandemic’ is indeed the creation of the ravenous mAss media and nothing else!

(Look. I did undertake good due diligence, computed quite a few ‘back of the envelope calculations,’ to arrive at the numbers above – wherever I could not lay my hands on some official figure/statistic, that is. Hence the numbers are there NOT to make you panic – but to merely make you understand the context and proportions)

What do you think of the healthcare situation in India? Is it adequate to address the pandemic?

Pandemic? My illustrious foot! Why is this even called an epidemic? Since when common cold has become a pandemic? WHO asked for this panic button?

Healthcare? All we have now, thanks to the hysteria on radio. TV, Newspaper is only HealthScare.

With so many eager & greedy HealthScare providers, fear mongers, clueless managers and administrators (a truly potent combination indeed), it is obvious that things will continue to be sensationalized, hyped – and of course, basic truth and sanity will be the casualty.

Having said that, it is obvious that the Indian Government has huge palace loads of the medicines (amassed from all sorts of the generic drug vendors), kits etc etc – so, assuming proper distribution, there is enough and more to go around. (our tax rupees at work, sir)

But the efficacy of the drug is a moot point! Don’t even ask about the pan-dummyc.

Who are the beneficiaries from the spread of Swine Flu? (or for that matter any epidemic)

Tamiflu manufacturers – this is obvious. This is the drug that supposedly helps. The magic bullet. Hic.

Mask, Respirator, Testing kits, Cleaning agents manufacturers – this is also obvious.

HealthScare providers – as the frenzy to admit and check whether a person has got the Swine Flu ‘attack’ grows, as and when the close relatives/friends of this person chance upon as trivial as a loosely hanging snot in one of the nostrils of this person… sheesh!

[Stock market tip: RIGHT time to buy the stocks of the firms in the above three businesses]

Doctors – most of them can continue to be clueless and continue to get their ‘knowledge’ by the colour brochures, gifts from the pharma companies, with their kickbacks (‘referral fees’) from diagnostic service providers and pharmacies, intact. It is business as usual for them – only that their income will go up by a few orders of magnitude.

Governments and the Administration – they can now legitimately keep all the so-called development projects in cold storage and start fire fighting. Of course there is illicit money to be made in awarding contracts, acquiring stocks of medicines, kits and then in dispensing them. (Our tax money at work, what else!)

mAss Media – of course for all their programmes, the TRP  ratings are going to go up as people sit glued to their seats, watching the ‘breaking-noose’ items about random deaths in absolute mortification; the revenues go up.

GNP – the GROSS (really) national products of the nations of the world are likely to go up as also the various indices of the stock markets, because of the increased spending on medicine and healthScare.

Parents and other jobless people – they can make merry, run around like headless chickens, cackle like demented poultry discussing with fellow parents, lobbying for the closure of the schools, worry for their children, worry about managing the children if the school indeed closes, the works…

Children – the paranoia has reached such a high level that all children will be made to stay at home where they can threaten to make an incredible nuisance of themselves – so the parents will surrender the Remote control for the TV, Sony PSP and horrendous video games, so that peace can be restored in homes!

Well, actually it is a win-win situation for EVERYONE. Why bother to complain?

Let us sit back , relax and ENJOY the spreading of the Swine Flu virus! Ha Ha!

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Other swine flu & health related posts are here:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…

Minimal & Effective FAQ: chikungunya, dengue fever…

See, there is this loong & basic FAQ in which a lot of ground has been covered in the context of infections, health, viruses in general, swine flu etc, etc.

But, this document is relatively short – and deals only with how to effectively and sanely avoid Chikungunya , Dengue fever etc.

How do these fevers & infections (Chikungunya, Dengue et al) spread?

They spread through our helpful little friends, viruses. These viruses are insect-borne in the sense that they get transmitted by Mosquitoes – primarily.

Why do we get / acquire them?

Simple. Toxemia. Our weakened and absolutely compromised immune systems; weak and effete physique. Nothing else. Not those viruses!

This has been handled in detail in the basic FAQ.

But, how do we get it?

You see, the viruses weaken the body, mind and soul – as we have goofed up on our health. It per se, does not kill. But the viruses lay open the body for all kinds of bacterial illnesses and infirmities. Also, if the viruses are not controlled, they multiply like crazy, further weakening the body. Karma, the bunch of evil deeds that we have done to ourselves, eventually catches up. We get ill. That’s all!

Are vaccines available for this dengue fever and chikungunya?

No. Not yet. Even if they are made available after some extensive research and fieldtrials, the virues mutate and morph faster, making a particular / specifically-targetted vaccine  next to useless.

However, there are medicines (some antiviral drugs, NOT vaccines) available to reduce the after effects of the infection and reduction in the multiplication of the viruses inside our bodies.

Can we fumigate our environment – our homes and surroundings – so that mosquito colonies are wiped out?

No. You can only temporarily get rid of the problem, if you do that. But then, what about the mosquitoes from the other areas and stagnant pools of tepid water that are veritable breeding grounds for them?

Besides, mosquitoes have a short lifetime and so they multiply and mutate and morph faster and eventually become resistant to all kinds of killer chemicals used against them. You haven’t solved the problem here, have you?

The far more senseless and dangerous thing is that you have screwed up and spoilt your environment and made it absolutely poisonous for your lovable children and others – by the stupid act of fumigation.

Of course you have endangered yourself too in the process, but then since YOU started it all, good riddance! You deserve it.

Can I use the Goodnight kind of liquid mosquito repellants, that are packaged as canisters that are pluggable into power outlets? May be the cream, that we can smear on our bodies, can be used?

No. Unless you can live with all the after effects of D-Allethrin pesticide that is the basic component of most of these formulations / liquids.

Besides, you are wasting the valuable electrical power (because of the electrical heating element involved) that came to your place after burning a couple of trees in Australia or elsewhere!

D Allethrin is a Pyrethroid compound that is used as an industry grade insecticide – in farming operations and otherwise!

Why can’t you see that – if it is dangerous to such resilient creatures as mosquitoes, it is potentially harmful to us? You don’t even need to bother about the chemistry and all that of these things!

Can I use Insecticide sprays? Pest control methods? Baygon spray??

No. But I understand that we all live, outsourcing every damn thing to other servicewallahs. What we want are aseptic and ‘clean’ homes and environments – never mind the long term damages. Okay.

Yes. You can use the sprays. But, do us all a favour. First spray them on yourself. At least some problems facing the world can be solved, thusly. I am sure you can be composted, though there would be some remnant insecticide. We will handle it, don’t you worry. Please rest / decompose in peace!

Can I use mosquito coils that smoke out mosquitoes?

No. Unless you want to develop breathing problems in the medium / long run. Also, some of these smoking coils have the same D Allethrin!

Besides, the clothes & bedlinen stink like nobody’s business, if you use them coils.

So, what is the magic bullet – the ONE action that will help us NOT get these dis-eases/infections? Please, please!

Actually there are two things that you can actually do.

A: Healthy habits. Please read the FAQ

B: Mosquito nets for beds and Mosquito net shutters for windows & doors.

This ‘B‘ is a zen like solution – cheaper, effective, nonpolluting, portable and whatnot. Believe me!

Our family is addicted to the mosquito nets. So much so that, we regularly transport/lug the net along with us, when we travel. It is our distinguished family member, in fact.

We live in a fairly big accommodation, with a zillion windows and doors,  right in the middle of the flight path of some 100,000,000,000,000,000,0000  odd mosquitoes vying with each other for our blood, and to gratuitously transfer your infections to us.

But, we have managed to healthily survive thus far, thanks to the bed nets and shutter nets, no doubt.

The NET benefit to the world and to us is so damned good that we are seriously in love with our mosquito nets…

Consider it.

Don’t give lame excuses like:

  • We feel claustrophobic inside the net (yeah? What about your darned office cubicles and badly designed chairs and offices and kitchens and bathrooms??)
  • We don’t know where to get a good one! (of course, but then you would know who Mallika Sherawat is supposed to be ‘seeing’ these days or for that matter, a Hannah Montana, argh!)
  • They need to be washed regularly! (Um, I hope you wash yourself after you finish, um your ablutions in the mornings??)
  • We need to drive nails for hanging the net, but our landlord doesn’t permit that? (um, surely you can use bedposts?)
  • But we don’t have bedposts! (huh?)
  • Can we switch on the ceiling fan instead and let it run in full blast?? (Okay, OKAY – I get the drift.You get bittten,  infected – and may you DIE soon)

THE END. 🙂

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Other swine flu related posts are here:  FAQs & HowTos: health, body, soul…