I’ve come to understand that there’s some level of confusion about the differences between prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Although each of these concepts can apply to one’s health, these terms have distinct meanings in how they’re applied.
When referring “prevention,” I’m speaking about the action of stopping something from happening or arising. For instance, preventative healthcare, or prophylaxis, relates to measures taken to preclude one from contracting an infection or disease.
When in the Marine Corps I was administered many prophylactic agents. Regarding these preventative measures, one source states:
These include vaccines to stimulate immunologic protection against natural and biological warfare infectious disease threats, chemoprophylactic drugs against infectious diseases and chemical warfare agents, and skin repellents or uniform-impregnating agents for protection against insect vectors.
For example, as a young Marine I received tetanus toxoid vaccination to prevent tetanus infection. After the effects of my vaccine wore off years later, I received another dose when coming into contact with rusty barbed wire.
Perhaps the most poignant example coming to mind about what prevention isn’t relates to the counterfactual claim of so-called vaccines having prevented COVID-19. That erroneous assertion aged like fine milk, at least in the case of Pfizer.
In an effort to seek vaccine transparency, the Health Justice Initiative was able to obtain and release contracts between the South African government and pharmaceutical companies—the only government to my knowledge who has released this information. For instance, Pfizer’s contract apparently stated:
“Vaccine” shall include (a) all vaccines manufactured, in whole or in part, or supplied, directly or indirectly, by or on behalf of Pfizer or BioNTech or any of their Affiliates that are intended for the prevention of the human disease COVID-19 or any other human disease, in each case which is caused by any of the virus SARS-Co V-2, and/or any or all related strains, mutations, modifications or derivatives of the foregoing that are procured by Purchaser, its Affiliates or agents by any means (whether pursuant to the Agreement or by way of any purchase or donation from any third party or otherwise, whether or not authorized pursuant to Section 2. 1) or that are administered within the Territory, and whether procured or administered prior to or following execution of this Agreement, (b) any device, technology, or product used in the administration of or to enhance the use or effect of, such vaccine, (c) any component or constituent material of (a) or (b), or (d) any use or application of any product referred to in (a)-(b).
To further spoil the proverbial milk, I could address how a Pfizer official stated to the European Union parliament that the organization’s COVID-19 so-called vaccine wasn’t tested for the purpose of stopping transmission of the virus—before it was ever disseminated for public use.
Dear reader, how many people do you know who took the Pfizer pseudo-vaccine—which was neither safe nor effective—and wound up with a COVID-19 diagnosis after the fact? This brings me to my next point.
When referring to “diagnosis,” I’m speaking about the identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which in my opinion botched the COVID-19 response, lists possible symptoms of COVID-19 as:
· Fever or chills
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Muscle or body aches
· New loss of taste or smell
· Sore throat
· Congestion or runny nose
· Nausea or vomiting
Diagnostic health care involves determining which condition explains a person’s signs and symptoms. For instance, if you presented to an emergency department in 2020 with a cough, fatigue, headache, new loss of taste, and a sore throat, you were likely assessed for COVID-19.
After conducting any number of examination measures (e.g., nasal swab) and speaking with a qualified medical provider (i.e., physician), your signs and symptoms along with medical examination may’ve rendered the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.
Many people apparently received this diagnosis. If prevention relates to the process of keeping something from happening and diagnosis infers the identification of a problem, treatment is the process one undergoes after a disease or condition is identified.
When referring to “treatment,” I’m speaking about the action or way of treating or addressing a patient or a condition medically or surgically: management and care to prevent, cure, ameliorate, or slow progression of a medical condition.
As an example, suppose you bought into the deceptive claims about the COVID-19 so-called vaccines and received several injections—fully boosted to soothe your irrational beliefs about an inevitable end to your existence. Perhaps you even took to social media to chastise others who didn’t act out of fear, as you did.
You concluded that your uncompromised virtue in playing your part for the “greater good” of society afforded you the benefit of preventative care from a benevolent government that provided what some speculate may be closer to gene therapy than an actual preventative:
[B]oth mRNA-based vaccines represent a unique case that is considered one of the most advanced and promising achievements in the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology and biopharmaceutical formulations. More than three decades of research effort on developing gene therapy solutions for many diseases could not convey many healthcare policymakers, pharmaceutical companies, funding agencies, medicine agencies, and drug administrations to adopt gene therapy avenues as highly potential approaches to transfer the therapeutic strategies into a new era. However, these mRNA vaccines, which have been developed and approved within a few months, signify a breakthrough in the field of gene therapy, which has battled to achieve ordinary acknowledgement due to a large number of sceptical [sic] and conservative scientists and other claimed safety and translational concerns. Although these two vaccines are not the first approved drugs utilising [sic] genetic materials as active ingredients, they are believed to be a milestone in modern medical history that may forever change pharmaceutical approaches.
Nevertheless, imagine that your prevention measures failed and after evaluation by competent medical personnel, you were diagnosed with COVID-19. Not to worry, because your attending physician prescribed a treatment regimen. To your home you returned, once again influenced by your unproductive beliefs about death.
In relation to psychotherapy—the treatment or management of mental, emotional, or behavioral conditions by verbal communication and interaction—I don’t treat COVID-19. However, using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I have treated and managed people with fear stemming from their unhelpful beliefs about the virus.
As prevention seeks to keep something from happening and diagnosis is the process of assessing symptoms to identify something, I aim to reduce the impact of irrational beliefs in relation to a client’s emotional, body sensation, and behavioral outcomes. This is my psychotherapeutic objective for treatment.
Although COVID-19 is apparently still in existence, though seemingly less of an existential threat as world authorities once claimed, I think it’s relevant to refresh the reader’s memory with an autopsy of pandemic response measures referenced herein. It may not be pleasant to look at, though I argue it’s necessary nonetheless.
I invite the reader to consider the current post as a form of prevention. Once you understand how easily billions of people were ostensibly duped into valuing irrational reactions, you can then take appropriate steps toward proverbially inoculating yourself from such hysteria in the future.
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
Abu Abed, O. S. (2021, June 2). Gene therapy avenues and COVID-19 vaccines. Genes & Immunity. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41435-021-00136-6
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Symptoms of COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Health Justice Initiative. (n.d.). Manufacturing and supply agreement between Pfizer Laboratories Proprietary Limited and The Government of the Republic of South Africa acting through the Department of Health of South Africa (“NDOH”). Retrieved from https://healthjusticeinitiative.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/OCRPfizer-1_Redacted.pdf
Health Justice Initiative. (n.d.). Open the contracts: Court rules in favour of vaccine transparency. Retrieved from https://healthjusticeinitiative.org.za/pandemic-transparency/
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Multimedia Centre. (2022, October 10). Special committee on COVID-19 pandemic. European Parliament. Retrieved from https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/webstreaming/covi-committee-meeting_20221010-1430-COMMITTEE-COVI (stating at minute 15:31:45)
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