Thursday 15 September 2011

Survival of the Fittest

I was reading Rinkly Rimes’ piece on Chance and it started a train of thought. As usual, my trains run on tracks of their own, without much forward planning, so if my words offend in any way, please forgive me.

‘Survival of the fittest’ is a phrase that’s been bandied about for generations but what does it mean in an age when most ills at least can be accommodated if they cannot be cured? Childhood illnesses like measles and whooping cough used to take their toll and those who survived might be left with serious conditions. They still affect children in the developing world.  Diptheria is almost unheard of in the western world. Before immunisation was introduced it was one of the leading causes of deaths in children. (Both my parents were hospitalised with diphtheria, around 1910.) Similarly, tuberculosis and polio were dangerous, frightening diseases, as they still are in poorer parts of the world, though there has been a resurgence of tuberculosis in recent years in UK.

As we fight back against infections, developing vaccines to prevent and medicines to cure, different afflictions become visible. They may have been present already, masked by more urgent disorders, never able to come to the fore. We will never be able to cure all ills for as each new infection is defeated so further previously unrecognised disorders emerge.

There is no cure for life – it is a terminal condition, however fit we may be.


  1. Chance is a funny thing, Janice. To my way of thinking there's more to chance than chance, there's also circumstance. So many complications impact on our chances of survival not just our fitness.

  2. What seems to happen is that as medical science gets on top of one spread of diseases others take their places. Between us my wife and I should have dies at least 4 times. (We didn't!)

  3. @Elisabeth - yes, indeed!
    @Dave - pleased to hear it;-)

  4. I like to hear people thinking out loud. And nobody could take offence at anything you've written. I have a view about the survival of the fittest which is much more shocking!

  5. I had another comment to make, but I'm finding it hard to concentrate on the strange coincidence between "fit" and my word verification "nude."

  6. Life is indeed terminal - and all the sweeter for it. Love your header - just fabulous!

  7. @Rinkly - thank you - and do tell!
    @Joshua - snigger
    @ladyfi - many thanks

  8. Well! Maybe you will think I'm silly, but I didn't let the doctor vaccinate my younger daughter against measles and 2 other minor child diseases some years ago! And lately, we refused the A1/N1 flu shot!
    Some vaccines can be more dangerous than the diseases they are supposed to cure!
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    ¤ Have a nice and happy day ¤

  9. Yes, I fully agree with you. There will be always new diseases which probably exists since a long time but are only analysed now. Or the invented once for the pharma industries to make money !

  10. @Mildred - it's a choice with which we are all faced when we have children
    @Gattina - it's not beyond the bounds of possiblity;-)

  11. When I was teaching Health to some 7/8th graders, they couldn't believe all the childhood diseases I'd had. They don't realize how fortunate they are. I think the only ones I missed were diphtheria and polio.

  12. @Chris - you're right. People forget too easily the damage that can be done by these childhood diseases.

  13. My husband and I were talking along these lines not long ago. We had all the childhood diseases like mumps, measles, chicken pox, etc. His daughter, who just turned 21, has never had any of them. But then when we were young no one had ever heard of HIV or Lyme disease.

  14. you are such a sharp thinker.
    superb thoughts shared.

  15. You’ve got superb talent in creative writing,
    Keep it up.

    Please check out short story slam week 10 prompt today.

    It is great to write and entertain our children,
    Don’t you agree?

    Give it a try,
    Let your beautiful imagination fly.

    Happy Autumn!


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