I was talking to my grandfather the other day, explaining the precautions he needs to take to be safe from COVID-19. He is above 80 and has asthma. He partially agreed to change some of his habits and then gave a long speech on how things were simpler when he was young. I have heard this before but this time it had a different ring to it.
My grandfather fondly remembers a Hakeem who used to take care of all illnesses. And that too with some herbs and food suggestions, no antibiotics. Furthermore, you don’t have to tell him what’s wrong. He knew the kind of troubles you were having as soon as you enter his “clinic”.
The sinister side of me said to myself, well what other options do you had except to believe whatever he told you to believe. There was no way you could disprove his claims about your health. Modern day doctors, on the other hand, are always on the cusp of being wrong.
And while I feel fortunate enough to live in this age. There is part of me that actually wished for those simplistic explanations. Life would have been so much simpler. I just do whatever my Hakeem tells me and come back if things don’t work out. No Google, no way to disprove and no anxiety of not doing enough with my health. I might have lived much shorter but life would have been more calmer/happier.
Of course things are not that simple anymore. No doctor can tell you with absolute certainty what you are going through. They will always practice cautiousness over conviction. Plus, they have thousands of different things to tell you anyway so they are probably as confused as you are. More is not always good.
The antidote, of course is to be the Hakeem of your own health. Take everything all in, have a strong filter on information, take help whenever you need but at the end, chose for yourself. It’s hard but it’s the only way.