Welcome back! Last week, we talked about heart attacks. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.

This week we welcome a familiar guest blogger, Dr. Charles Ross. Doctor Ross is an Osteopathic Doctor, and a friend of the Foundation. I felt wholly unqualified to write about this topic, and he most generously offered to help me by writing it on my behalf. Thank you, Dr. Ross. ~Linda Tate

It takes a Pandemic…..

In 1968 an Influenza A pandemic called “Hong Kong flu” killed about 1 million people worldwide (100,000 of those deaths were in the U.S.).     In 2009 the “swine flu” pandemic killed at least 151,000 people worldwide (12,000 in the U.S.).   This year 2020 around 5,000 people in the world have died from COVID-19 (as of this writing).

For many years I have been educating people about the epidemic of the chronic disease ravaging our population.   The most common cause of death in our country has been heart disease with cancer a close second. 

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:   (from CDC)

  • Heart disease: 647,457
  • Cancer: 599,108
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
  • Diabetes: 83,564
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

Look closely at the statistics, especially heart disease: 647,000 deaths in the U.S.    Glance back at the 1968 pandemic death toll: 100,000 deaths in the U.S.

Do the math. Over 6 times as many people dying of heart disease EVERY year compared to 6 times fewer deaths in our worst worldwide pandemic.   Heart disease develops more slowly over time compared to a viral death, but the consequences are identical: death.   Over 80% of the heart disease deaths that occur in the US could potentially have been prevented by the food choices we all make.   It is sad that the Standard American Diet (SAD) in the U.S. has so many side effects and has produced so much chronic disease and not just cardiovascular disease, but cancers, diabetes, renal disease, gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, and many inflammatory disorders.  

Look again at the numbers. We as a country are making every effort to quarantine and fight off the pandemic, but we have shown little will to deal with the unnecessary death caused by the processed foods we eat.    If we only had the same fear and panic over the diseases that cause a slower death than the virus causes.

Now I realize that we all will die.  I am not attempting to live forever.  I just want to live the healthiest and happiest and not have to suffer from chronic disease, especially disease that is preventable by my personal choices.   After watching the video below, you may have a better understanding of the danger of using animals as a primary food source.  You may be surprised to learn about the connection between chicken and urinary tract infections….and perhaps you will consider the sources of our pandemics; they are not plant-based

By promoting the use of animal products as our primary food source, we have encouraged the transmission of viruses and resistant bacteria to our population.  This has led to chronic disease and the pandemic which effectively led us to shelter in place, distance ourselves from each other, and cause untold suffering.  There has got to be a better way……

If you are familiar with the Blue Zones, you understand that lifestyle choices determine health or disease.  Those eating mainly whole foods that are plant-based live longer and healthier lives.  A diet consisting of mainly whole foods of legumes, fruits, veggies, and whole grains without significantly processing these foods has been shown in two studies (Ornish and Esselstyn) to stop heart disease and even reverse the clogging in the coronary arteries (demonstrated by angiogram) after about 1-3 years.   Unfortunately, many in the Blue Zones have transitioned toward the Western meat/sweet diet and they are now suffering the same diseases as those in the United States.

So my hope is that the scare of this current worldwide pandemic will translate into focusing on how to keep up the healthiest lifestyle by the choices we make.

Best of Health to you,

Charlie Ross DO


  1. And recall that in the 1918 epidemic none or very few of patients treated osteopathically died. I wonder how that would work with this current virus.

  2. Thank. you for your wisdom! I really appreciate your insight and putting into words what we all know!
    More love for ourselves, each other, animals and the planet is much needed in this wakeup call and always!
    Sometimes we need a tiny creature to remind us of how much we are all connected on this planet to each other and what is important.

  3. Thank you for the blog. I wholeheartedly agree with the overall premise but need to correct one statement. The Hong Kong Flu was not the worst worldwide pandemic, even in the 20th century. The 1918 Spanish Flu had a higher mortality rate with an estimated 675,000 fatalities in the US alone and about 50 million fatalities worldwide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *