Age of insecurity: Health worries

Posted on 12th October 2017 | in Harry McQuillen: Age of insecurity

“Cyberchondria” is a very evocative word. It refers to an aspect of hypochondria which is a major problem for us.

People used to buy large medical books to find (surprise, surprise!) that they had an extensive range of illnesses that increased in direct proportion to the time they spent reading a medical tome.

Everybody has physical problems of some sort, but it is the severity of the symptoms which prompts medical intervention. We all think that we are so clever these days, a view prompted by our ability to access information. It would be better if we had a system which filters the vast amount of stuff we can find ‘upsetting’, which can refer to add-on offers in many food outlets encouraging customers to buy extra food items, often of high calorie type.

I was talking to a former teacher who, like me, used to escort groups of pupils to the local swimming baths. A few decades ago we saw the occasional child who was heavy weight. Now we see the occasional lightweight. Answers on a postcard please!
A kit has been developed which gives a 96% certainty level in the diagnosis of cancer cells after a ten second scan. Medical science has come a very long way since the inception of our NHS in the 1940s.

Elsewhere in the news:
• The reversal of the presidential election result in Kenya could lead to the same sort of thing happening in other countries.
• Over 2 million Chinese IT experts now police a firewall which prevents 1,500 million people from accessing sites deemed dangerous by the Chinese government.

• There is now a suggestion that J.K.Rowling and Potterism does little to nurture the imagination of children. I’ll pass on that one, while confirming my opinion that a lot of young people were encouraged to read by following the exploits of H. Potter.

• What would George Orwell have made of our finest technology, in a world where your fridge can send you a message that the cat has done a poo on the kitchen floor?

• We now hear that the Honourable Member for the 18th century, one Jacob Rees-Mogg, could contest party leadership with Boris T, David D and others. Is Theresa May still our best bet?

• Brexit rambles on with harsh comments all round in a supposedly rational debate on how things should work out after the Great Divorce.

• We hear words from the Archbishop of Canterbury and others that there should be more help for poorer people. But in an age of globalisation it isn’t easy to get hold of the money that many of us would like to redistribute.

Our home town is buzzing. Holiday lets, eateries, visitors are everywhere. Now all we need is JOBS.

Harry McQuillen

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