Healthy Lockdowns

Which political and economic measures would make us healthier and more resilient in the long term?

By Christian Kreiß.

The previous lockdown measures have brought us increasing domestic violence, increasing alcohol and cigarette consumption, an almost doubling of the media consumption of our children, increasing obesity and increasing suicides. They have kept us out of the fresh air, restricted exercise, sports, culture and religious practice. She has reduced the number of operations and visits to the doctor. In short, you weren’t very healthy for very many people.

So the question should now be investigated which measures we could take that make us healthy, strengthen us internally and which concepts we can develop to prevent “Covid-20” or “-21” or other successor virus strains and how we can can still protect the target groups at high risk from Corona – old and severely ill people.

What are the deeper causes of swine flu, bird flu, Sars, Covid-19? Many of the waves of pathogens in recent years have to do with animals, as the names suggest, bird flu, swine flu, with animals kept on a mass scale, which eke out their lives under cruel conditions. Anyone with a heart for animals will cry when they see the mass pig farming that is common today. Most of the eggs are kept in mini cage cells, without sun, on many floors and without soil. Many of our slaughtered chickens never see a single ray of sunshine in their entire lives, have never pecked a worm and are pumped full of antibiotics. We eat that. We take that into ourselves. All the suffering.

In the case of Covid-19, the slaughterhouses appear remarkably frequently as particularly bad pathogen centers, keyword Tönnies. In other words, factories in which animals are slaughtered under dire conditions. Why do so many Covid infections occur here in particular?

It almost seems as if what we do to the poor animals we have treated so ruthlessly comes back on our heads.

So the first thing we could do as a preventive measure would be to dismantle industrial factory farming and mass animal slaughter, industrial large-scale agricultural factories, both production, i.e. large-scale agricultural operations, as well as industrial processing.

Our current large-scale industrial agriculture not only abuses our animals to a considerable extent, but also applies large amounts of pesticides that pollute the earth, water, air and animals. It uses large amounts of mineral fertilizers that leach out the soils and damage biodiversity. In short: industrial agriculture often does not exactly care for our health. Let’s break down this unhealthy system! For decades, the increasing number of organic farms has shown that it can be done without pesticides and mineral fertilizers.

It is argued again and again that organic farming is too expensive and that we cannot afford it. This is an interest-driven, misleading argument. The cheap meat from Tönnies is probably the most expensive meat that we have ever afforded if we include all the costs that it incurred. As part of the current economic stimulus packages of the federal government, amounting to almost 50 percent of the national product, well over a thousand billion euros have been used to alleviate the consequences of, among other things, a misguided agricultural and food policy. With these funds we could probably convert our entire agriculture to ecological cultivation and farms with healthy farm sizes.

So: We can consider how we can come to an end for the agricultural factories, industrial factory farming and mass slaughter. We can work out a 10-year plan, how we can gradually convert large-scale agriculture, which is hostile to the environment and animals, into a healthy, diversified ecological agriculture in which the birds sing again, the insects are busily buzzing and the animals can enjoy their lives again.

Very many of those who died of or with Corona were so-called multimorbid patients. These are often people who have had diabetes, overweight, high blood pressure, allergies or organ damage, often also people who smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, eat unhealthily and do little exercise.

Many of these evils are actively promoted by the large corporations in the food industry. Hundreds of additives and colorings are added to our foodstuffs that have no place in sensible nutrition. From an early age, advertising campaigns drive our children into malnutrition: too much, too sweet, too fat, too salty. And the media industry drives our children to the screens instead of moving and playing outdoors.

We need a lockdown for those additives and colorings that are of course already banned in organic food because they make us sick. We need a lockdown for child advertising, for alcohol and cigarette advertising, for advertising unhealthy sugar products and various refined foods. That would make us healthier, stronger internally, and more resistant to successor viruses over the years.

Finally, let’s take a look at the health sector. Pharmaceutical companies live from the sale of drugs. The worst that could happen to them would be – healthy people. Then profits would collapse and the corporations could close. Pharmaceutical companies need drug-dependent, vaccine-dependent people, otherwise they cannot survive. Profit-maximizing pharmaceutical companies are not interested in healthy people, on the contrary.

In order to maximize profits, pharmaceutical companies are very creative and keep walking over dead bodies in the true sense of the word. There is now a wealth of literature on this that comes to the same conclusion every time: The products that are pushed onto the market with great marketing effort are those that generate the highest profit margins, regardless of whether they are also the best drugs for our health. Similar to the diesel scandal, the pharmaceutical industry often acts according to the motto: Profit comes before health and truth.

Pharmaceutical companies that maximize profits are not good for our health. We could therefore work out a 10-year step-by-step plan on how we can slowly convert profit-maximizing pharmaceutical companies into the form of non-profit-making companies, for example into non-profit GmbHs, so-called g-GmbHs or an analogous legal form. There are good models of how this could happen, for example in the book “Small Is Beautiful: The Return to Human Measure” by E.F.Schumacher.

The same is true of profit-maximizing private hospitals. For example, there are always unnecessary operations that are lucrative. Instead, treatments that are not lucrative are avoided. In short: At the moment when it comes to maximum profits, it is no longer about health, but rather about profits, even if interested parties constantly claim the opposite. Health is a public good, not a private good that can be used to maximize profits. Maximizing profits in the health sector makes us sick. We should get away from that in the long term.

We can use Corona as an opportunity to understand mistakes, to strengthen ourselves, to make ourselves healthier and to shape our lives and our togetherness more humanly.

Prof. Dr. Christian Kreiß, born 1962: Studies and doctorate in economics and economic history at the LMU Munich. Nine years of professional activity as a banker, seven of which as an investment banker. Since 2002 professor at the University of Applied Sciences Aalen for Finance and Economics. Three invitations to the German Bundestag as an independent expert (Greens, Left Party, SPD), trade union member at ver.di. Numerous television, radio and magazine interviews, public lectures and publications.


Thanks to the author for the right to publish.


Image source:  DesignRage / shutterstock


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