Alan Pickersgill (Page 2)

01 July 2020 People who feel poorly in the prime of a pandemic will develop three classes of side effects. There are the ones we are warned against in the chemo manuals. These could be fatigue, or constipation, or diarrhea, loss of hair, or any of a host of other things. None of them are a matter of choice and there’s nothing anyone can do to avoid them. The best we can do is take another drug to relieve the effects of the one we just took. If a dose of carboplatin gives you the runs, a doctor might tell you to take 2mg ofRead More →

21 June 2020 The worst time to get chemotherapy is the day on which you get it. The second worst is every other day. It is not pleasant. What they are doing is pumping a poisonous concoction through your veins. When this starts, the race is on to kill the cancer before the cancer kills you. The poison attacks rapidly growing cells which are the bedrock of all cancers. The trick to treating the disease is to stop the cancer cells from multiplying out of control. Treatment also targets other rapidly growing cells and is one reason hair often falls out under chemotherapy. The mostRead More →

15 June 2020 Sometimes bigger is good. At others, smaller is better. Unless we’re talking about tumours, in which case nothing at all is best. These are three facets of a twenty-first century health crisis. With the Corona pandemic, bigger is good but Ontario is pulling back the safeguards that keep it this way. Big should be the distance between people. Close-up can be deadly for vulnerable folk. I tend to worry about this because I’m one of them. In fact, I am finding it increasingly offensive and worrisome when I hear people talking about acceptable collateral damage as the economy is reopened. Think backRead More →

09 June 2020 The face of litter is changing. It used to be all Tim Hortons cups and cigarette butts. Now they’ve been joined by face masks and nitrile gloves. A lot of people celebrate the pandemic lockdown because of the restorative effect it has on our ecosystem. People notice the cleaner air and water. Maybe it just seems cleaner because there’s not as much dirt in it. While there might be less grit in the air, there’s a lot more latex, nitrile, and plastic going to landfill. Guelph’s waste disposal guide tells us to put the gloves in the grey cart. Grocery stores won’tRead More →