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HEALTHCARE

November 22nd, 2022

The construction of the word HealthCare is appropriately ironic. Presumably the compound word evolved from the sentiment behind the phrase: Caring for Health. But we strip out the preposition and reverse-join the words. The irony is in the fact that the caring comes after the health. Not before it.

This is exactly how healthcare functions: it’s almost entirely reactive, not preventative. We wait until the cancer is evident before we do something about it, despite the fact that there’s plenty of researching exactly what sort of protocols can go a long way to preventing cancer in the first place.

This inverted (and unwise) approach is perhaps due to health being at the whims of a capitalist centric society. This isn’t really a bash at capitalism, so much as it is a point about what you can get people to pay for. When death is lurking around the corner, no price tag is too high. But preventative protocols? There’s are much harder to get people to pay for. Peleton might see some success while everyone is cooped up at home with plenty of reason and time to focus on the issue of health, but during regularly scheduled programing the financial incentives for preventative health care just aren’t there.

Putting the verb before the noun only seems to exist on an individual basis, due to an errant interest in the topic. I, for one, think about health every day and I am constantly tinkering with my own protocols with an eye on the long term ramifications of each decision. But this isn’t the norm. Most of my family and friends think I’m a bit crazy when it comes to the issue of health. To be clear, I certainly don’t come anywhere close to the level of a hypochondriac. My interest is driven purely out of curiosity and a desire to feel as good as I can today and tomorrow. Health nut? Well maybe. But I find it interesting. And that’s my point: interest in preventative measures is not a normal nor widespread hobby.

Another way to approach this is like an investment. A few grand in workout equipment might seem like a steep price tag to pony up in the short term, but when compared to the amount of money people will gleefully part with in order to make their severe health conditions resolve… a few grand in workout equipment seems like quite a deal.Four thousand now? Or Four Hundred Thousand later? And of course there’s the awful fact that many of the most preventable conditions that plague people in later years cannot be cured with any amount of money. The comparison of 4K and 400K isn’t really appropriate. The 4K is a deal to a degree that is simply unfathomable.

Does this mean Healthcare as we traditionally know it is completely useless? Well no, getting treatment for a freak accident, for example, is quite useful. To say the least. As with most issues the issue is in need of nuance. It’s not a matter of either, or. It’s a matter of both, and a question of what ratio.

Healthcare which is often seen as THE option is better regarded as a last-resort parachute. Something you hope to never use, but something you definitely pack every time you wheel out toward the runway. Caring for Health out to be the main focus and deserves the lion’s share of effort. It helps to see the body as a sort of curious puzzle that can be tinkered with, optimized and leveled-up. Curiosity turns a massively complex topic into a bit of a fun riddle that doesn’t just have one answer.

Curiosity, though, is often in short supply for many people. Requiring a good question, such as:

What can I do today that might make me feel better now, or raise the likelihood that I have a good day tomorrow?

If that question already has a solid answer, we might move on to: what’s the next smallest variable that I could tinker with to see if I can have a little bit more energy, focus, and strength?


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