It’s been one year since the Naturopathic Alliance published our statement about the pandemic. Sadly, we have suffered through more loss than most of us could have imagined in May of 2020. Almost 600K people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in North America alone. There have been over 3.2 million deaths worldwide. This is staggering–it will take us many years to fully comprehend the impact on long-term global health.
In the midst of this crisis, the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others, unleashed an uprising against racial injustice and state-sanctioned murder in the U.S. The spike in hate crimes against Asian-Americans has also stirred segments of our population in unforeseen ways. I am encouraged by the conversations and engagement happening around these issues, and they certainly intersect with the pandemic we are still living through.
Closer to home, within the naturopathic profession, it’s been a challenge to witness the misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and the risks we face in trying to fight the tide of the virus without them. Every day social media is rife with confusing messages, based on no sound evidence, from “wellness influencers”–most of whom are simply looking to increase their number of followers. It’s my sincere wish that we don’t get slammed with another wave due, in part, to vaccine hesitancy perpetuated by these colleagues.
Our community has proven particularly susceptible to the dangers of radical individualism. A public health crisis on this level requires thinking beyond our own personal health, something naturopathic doctors are ill-trained to consider. We at the Alliance are still doing our part to combat this surge of misinformation by providing science-based and reasonable recommendations based on current public health measures. Overall, I wish there had been a more rigorous response and responsible messaging from the naturopathic community.
Nonetheless, here we are. Deaths are currently going down here in the United States, but the crisis is not over. I have personally been buoyed by the solidarity amongst my fellow Alliance members, and we all appreciate the signatories who have supported our efforts. If you care to read (or revisit) our statement, it can be found here.
Stay safe, stay healthy, get vaccinated!
BLOG POST AUTHOR
Ginger Nash, ND lives and practices in New Haven, CT. She is a founding member of the Naturopathic Alliance.