This week is National Nurses Week in many countries, culminating with International Nurses Day on May 12 (the birthday of Florence Nightingale in 1820), and I thought you’d enjoy, like we did, Joel Plaskett’s new song “Frontlines of the Hard Times” dedicated to healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID pandemic. It was inspiring for many reasons, and one of them was a thought provoking discussion it initiated about pandemic definition among EMF Safety Advocates.
Joel performed this video on a livestream with the Canadian Globe and Mail newspaper from his Dartmouth, Nova Scotia studio. The Canadian Juno-winning musician says he wrote the tune honoring healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic just days ago. In beautiful poetry and heartfelt lyrics it serves as a good reminder to all of us on the importance of saying thanks to those who are working to make it a better safer world for us all.
So, the song prompted me to ask – “Thanked any COVID workers today? Then someone added… and have we thanked any EMF safety advocates today for their same pandemic fighting dedication?”
Listening to this moving song had made her (a dedicated EMF Safety Advocate) recall a conversation she’d had about pandemic definition with a fellow Electrohypersensitive (EHS) student during their EMF Expert Consultant Certification course who poignantly observed that if Electrosensitivity (ES) was classified as a disease, rather than simply a syndrome, the epidemiology basics of sheer numbers alone of those afflicted with ES worldwide, would qualify it as a pandemic.
Does EHS fit the Pandemic Definition as well as COVID does?
The sheer numbers of EHS afflicted do indeed give us a genuine reason to stop and reconsider it as a pandemic when in fact, Dr Juliet Williams estimated in a recent article that 35% of the population has some sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, and she also points out that Electrosenisitivity does indeed have an official disease classification, listed as Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), Center for Disease Control CDC code , a novel neurological syndrome produced by overexposure to electromagnetic radiation.
ES also seems to qualify as a pandemic when according to the World Health Organization’s site, the overreaching definition of a pandemic is “the worldwide spread of a new disease”, when ES has only newly appeared in worldwide growing numbers in recent years since the widespread use of EMF wireless technology.
Additionally, it seems that the ES pandemic definition has more in common with the COVID pandemic definition, when we learn that The World Health Organization’s decision to declare the COVID pandemic a “public health emergency of international concern” in early February, 2020 wasn’t based on its own simplified definition of “the worldwide spread of a new disease”. According to a Los Angeles Times news article, the global health agency had three considerations when deciding on that designation:
1. Is the outbreak unusual or unexpected? With a new virus like the coronavirus, the answer was yes.
2. Does the outbreak have implications for health beyond a national border? When the December emergency was declared, there were dozens of reported cases on four continents, so the answer was another yes.
3. Does the outbreak require immediate international action? Since airport screenings were in effect and emergency aid money was allocated in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus, the answer was once again yes.
The USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a pandemic as one that has spread to several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people. Interestingly, the severity of illnesses is not a consideration, nor is the number of deaths.
With thousands of confirmed cases on six continents, the term “pandemic” clearly applied. But even beyond the case count, a pandemic contrasts with an epidemic mainly because it has global consequences.
Merriam Webster agrees, defining a pandemic as an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
Although some, like ES naysayers on Wikipedia, have said that a disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people; it must also be infectious. However this criteria is not listed as a defining characteristic of a pandemic by official Public Health Emergency designating bodies.
By all defining characteristics it looks more and more like ES does indeed fit the bona fide global pandemic definition. The COVID situation has prompted us all to rethink a lot of our previously held beliefs about global health challenges, and in the process it is teaching us about the new normal when it comes to pandemics.
So, I am back to where I began, asking – have you thanked anyone who’s out there on the front lines trying to make the world a better, safer, healthier place from today’s pandemics?