LETTER: Why is COVID-19 the Game Changer?



Let me preface this by saying that I wear a mask when I am required to and when it makes sense. I support minimizing risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. My concern is regarding other illnesses facing Americans and governmental response.

Approximately 650,000 Americans die from Heart Disease and another 600,000 from Cancer every year. Neither of these diseases are contagious, but both are preventable. There has been exhaustive research on these diseases and it is well established that moving towards a plant-based diet, more exercise, and reducing our exposure to chemicals can dramatically lower our risk.

These changes do not require we give up our work, wear a mask, or stop socializing with family and friends, all things that are mandated by the government right now.

We are now living under strict rules for social distancing, limited work and school, wearing masks, etc., but cancer and heart disease
kill far more Americans each year and are basically ignored.

Why isn’t the government mandating daily exercise, or supporting growers of organic fruits and vegetables or the ban of cigarettes and pesticides?

If we can take away people’s freedom to earn a living, why can’t we mandate healthy habits?

It would save countless lives and reduce the burden on the medical system. Also consider that just shutting down factory farms would immediately improve the environment and lower the risk of future infectious viruses.

Millions of Americans have seen their life’s work disappear as their businesses have been forced to close. The government has literally forced people to give up their livelihood. If the government can do that for a virus that has caused fewer than 125,000 deaths in the U.S., why can’t the government mandate changes to help prevent close to a million deaths.

Why is COVID the game changer?

Previously it’s been said that if we mandated a reduction in animal food consumption it would cripple the economy by hurting the beef and dairy industries. But the shutdowns for COVID have indeed crippled the economy. What’s the difference? Is it politically motivated?

Why are we complacent regarding more than a million deaths per year in America, but we have indisputably stopped educating our youth and stopped allowing people to run their businesses for fewer than 125,000 deaths?

I do not have an answer, but I believe we should all be asking these questions.

Carol Kagan



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