A pandemic of the under-dieted and under-exercised

A pandemic of the under-dieted and under-exercised. By Mitchell Ablett-Nelson.

Background: Obesity is the biggest risk factor for covid hospitalization, after age. Almost 80 per cent of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the US have been overweight or obese.

The politics:

‘Your refusal has cost all of us,’ President Biden said to the unvaccinated in September, announcing a new Covid vaccine mandate.

Mysteriously, President Biden (or any other world leader for that matter) is yet to set foot on a stage and make similarly disparaging comments to the overweight, the obese, and the poorly exercised.

So far there have been 275 million cases of Covid worldwide and 5.36 million deaths. Not a small number by any stretch, but in 2016 the World Health Organisation estimated there were 1.9 billion overweight adults around the world, with 650 million of those being classified as obese. … Between 1975 and 2016 the prevalence of obesity nigh tripled, in a trend that is only accelerating. …

Where are the calls for a lockdown until we can dismantle fast food stores, you might ask? Where are the calls for $20,000 fines for those caught walking insufficiently briskly in public, or having the gall to order that extra cake for dessert? Perhaps we ought to mandate boot camps in the parks before work…

For, if Covid has taught us anything, no freedom or right is too important to be curtailed in the face of a burgeoning health crisis. Indeed, opposing such curtailment outs you as misinformed, selfish, and — dare I say it — dangerous.

To the overweight readers who fervently supported government policy responses around the world to Covid (at the expense of civil liberties), I have only one thing to say to you –– when it comes to your [lack of] diet and exercise regimen: ‘Your refusal has cost all of us.’ …

Therefore:

It goes without saying that the under-dieted and under-exercised should be denied ‘universal healthcare’ — make them pay — particularly if the specific health issue is even potentially or tangentially relevant to their weight or inactivity (à la no organ transplants for the unvaccinated due to immunosuppression).

We will ignore for a moment that, oxymoronically, proponents of ‘universal healthcare’ clearly seem to actually mean ‘universal healthcare so long as you agree with my ideological priors, or are happy to keep your mouth shut and play ball’.

Of course not:

For the abundance of clarity, no, this is not actually a call to do any of the things proposed above.

Instead, it is intended to be a light-bulb moment. To engender a recognition that, once removed from media hyperventilation and moral panic, our societal and political response to Covid has been outright dangerous to our freedoms (and has the potential to be far more ruinous if not kept in check).

The last 18 months have shown that, under the guise of public health emergency, not even your right to leave the home to see your friends, family or loved ones is safe from the unelected pen of a bureaucrat; who does not find themselves engaged in a weighing of all the pros and cons of their proposal but solely focused on the discrete issue of viral spread.