Updated: Jan 22
Likewise lower back bane. And all that stuff that comes with ageing. It starts early, as soon as growth stops in our twenties.
So, we pop a vitamin, take up yoga, jog, and try out the newest diet. None of it works. Fortunately, most people have a huge comfort zone —and a tremendous capacity for denial.
Then came COVID. What to do when suddenly that rather large space of absolute denial shrinks to your apartment or home? No, you're probably not going to die if you're under 70 -- unless you are co-morbid or fat. But just about every American is "comorbid" -- at the very least has a risk factor.
Fear is the great motivator. It makes us question. So now we are questioning-- everything from capitalism to democracy to globalization to universal mobility. Not to mention, cruise ships and other offenses against nature.
What about the next “novel” virus? There are sure to be more contagions.
And you look in the mirror and see wrinkles.
As I pointed out in two years ago in Books I and II of my Ageing Young series of books, ( II now withdrawn for rewriting in light of current events) human beings evolved to live in small communities of 30 to 50 people, peacefully interacting from time to time with other communities nearby as they moved around within areas limited by the length of our legs. We still got sick and contracted diseases. But a really lethal disease would wipe out an entire community before it had a chance to spread it to another.
Disease is a natural thing. It occurs in all animal and plant populations: it is one way that the eco-system regulates itself, preventing overpopulation while weeding out the weak from the strong. Through disease “ecology’ achieves balance, preventing one species from damaging others.
All animal populations are driven by reproduction as a priority. That’s a problem for, say, bunny rabbits in Australia who don’t have oral contraceptives or natural predators. If, for some reason, Peter Rabbit’s zillion kids eat up all available food and force out other species, you get either famine or disease — or both. Crowding encourages the propagation of pathogens of various kinds, not to mention internecine violence, as we see with all human “civilizations” (sic) — and even with rabbits.
Yes, crowded bunnies murder each other. Bunnies are just human beings with longer ears. Cute when we're young. Big teeth when old.
But creating space for yourself and basic social hygiene is pretty easy, even in a city. So, you need not become a Killer Bunny! Or get killed by a Bunny Virus.
That said, as far as disease is concerned the best preventive is good diet. . It doesn’t prevent viral infection in and of itself. But it certainly promotes general health and the immune system-- and reduces those nasty wrinkles and that ugly belly fatg. .
Don't Eat Crap
Simply put: don’t eat crap. Eat as you evolved to do. This is the Ageing Young Diet
.In the animal world, there is such a thing as being too successful. When bunny rabbits overpopulate — or rats — or deer — they will get sick.
Modern human societies since the Neolithic Revolution 7000 years ago have been predicated on the idea that resources are scarce and we must compete and “adapt” to ensure that we — where “we” means the thirty or so people important to us — get enough.
For our hunter gatherer pre-tribal forebears before the Neolithic however, resources were not scarce — they were abundant. Of course, we had to move around a lot , as the seasons changed and with them, food availability. We shared and cared. We were egalitarian — anarchists, matricidal. Women were equal to men and spaced their children, which, with high child mortality and infanticide to keep the population in check. With some exceptions, we generally ate better. We were healthier. Stronger. Taller. Marshall Sahlins called it "the original affluent society".
But the Pleistocene ended and the Holocene changed all that, forcing unnatural adaptations. The verdant forests of the Sahara turned into dust bowls. The Mega Fauna died out. It was an Extinction Event. Kind of like today.
It is a myth that prehistoric peoples subsisted mostly by hunting large animals. That may have been true of some communities, as an adaptation to local environments and no doubt it is attractive to the legions of mostly sex-deprived male paleontologists who hark back to the days when Men were Men, Hunters and Warriors — and Women were Girls, goo-goo eyed when you brought back the kill.
The reality was different : for the most part we were omnivores eating 40 or more different foods a week. Yes, we hunted anything we could kill small or large. And we scavenged too. And women probably contributed the bulk of the foods. A husband did not ensure a woman's survival as much as women's groups. We were the most omnivorous of omnivores.
Then came Climate Change.
Many species of animals died off. And plants as well. It was hotter and drier. Just like today. to sub-optimal diets, emphasizing just a few foods and chronically under-nourished. We were less healthy, our lifespans suddenly limited. Today, we have “progress” — McDonald’s.
We migrated to the mouths of rivers or places close to the sea, where food was more plentiful and invented agriculture, animal husbandry and the like..
Once we lived in small reverse dominance societies which were egalitarian and consensus ruled. Now, we were sedentary. There were simply too many people in one place and we developed social hierarchies, “institutions” and the concept of “property” for societal harmony. These were dominance societies. And “property” included people: women became chattel. Others became slaves. Suddenly, just like today, we had to cope with hoarding, violence and war. So, from simple egalitarian communities we evolved simple tribes; then larger tribes, and finally “civilizations . As civilizations grew , population dense communities led to trade, migrations, colonization ...genocide..
We also moved to sub-optimal diets, emphasizing just a few foods and we were chronically under-nourished. We were less healthy, our lifespans, limited. Rather like modern America.
No, America! A Big Mac is not food! In fact, a lot of what you eat is not nutrition. Sugar is a drug.
With “patriarchy”, women had no control over their own bodies and had to give birth more often. Populations got progressively larger, even with war.
The end result was that Nature bit back in the form of plagues.
Like today.--with new pandemics.
Our ancestors ate berries, natural vegetables and tubers, wild grains, insects, fish, bird's eggs, small animals and birds, and occasionally parts of large animals left over from a predator's kill. Not to mention, a range of herbs. We had a very, very dirty biome with all kinds of bacteria and worms, too. We got many times more fiber than we do today.
Once we were all vegans. And also carnivores. And insectivores.
Nature was a cornucopia.
Now, we have another kind of cornucopia -- it's called a "supermarket". Choose carefully, choose widely. And get rid of those wrinkles
Anti-COVID diet series:
1: https://www.ageingyoung.com/post/grow-your-blog-community (this article)