Perseverance

Dennis Perman_Message of the Week

Dear Doctor:

When I was thirteen, Star Trek commandeered the airwaves, and as a science geek, I had already read and fantasized about interplanetary and intergalactic voyages – but Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock made it so much more accessible, give or take the campy melodrama. I was intrigued by the notion of intelligent alien creatures and far-off worlds to investigate. Even the Mandalorian tickles me – I just think outer space exploration is cool, an application of pure scientific imagination made tangible.

So isn’t it a hoot that NASA has landed a jeep-sized rover in the Jezero Crater on Mars! And the purpose of this expedition is to see if they can find any forms of life — Starship Enterprise, anyone? Their strategy is to drill into the ground where water originally stood, hunting for any evidence of microorganisms that may have been trapped in the silt, where a river once flowed into the lakebed.

The vehicle is named “Perseverance,” as it is the product of decades of planning and applied physics. Imagine the resources and resiliency required to build a rover, launch it, hit a target 140 million miles away, set it down in a specific area, and have it be able to broadcast audio and video of the terrain, dig up samples, and catalogue them for storage, all done remotely – perseverance indeed!

This is actually the sixth trip to the Red Planet, but this time the objective is to seek specific examples of Martian biology. The strategy is for “Percy” to gather and collect rock and dirt specimens and save them, to be picked up by future missions to Mars. By probing into the sediment, they postulate that they may find remnants or fossils of tiny creatures from a day gone by.

You may have caught the exhilaration of the labful of scientists cheering upon touchdown, but the study is not without its stresses. For example, 350 of the researchers have had to adapt to space time – Mars rotates a little slower than Earth, so Martian days are 40 minutes longer, causing the technical team to work odd hours to conform, taxing their brains and risking circadian dysrhythmia.

But those involved consider that a small price to pay, to be part of a conquest to find life on Mars, an idea that was relegated to science fiction novels until now.

We chiropractors are also dedicated to a scientific pursuit, the integration of brain, spine and nerve system wellness into mainstream healthcare. Much like the early astronauts, our pioneers faced almost insurmountable odds to generate any foothold or validation whatsoever. But now, with the increasing credibility of our work, our approach is being accepted where it was once denied.

Though not as glamorous as rocketing through the cosmos, communicating the chiropractic message may turn out to be the most important undertaking in modern health science. As the authorities struggle to harness a virus that seems to out-mutate and outsmart medicine’s best efforts, we will have to finally arrive at the conclusion that Nature’s inherent defenses make better long-term sense than genetic engineering. Let’s observe and respond to natural phenomena, intervening only when called for. In fact, both Johns Hopkins professor Marty Makary and epidemiologist Suzanne Judd of University of Alabama say that so many have been exposed, we are already nearing herd immunity.

So as the vaccine enthusiasts race to get everyone immunized, an organic process is underway, where our immune systems do what they were designed to do and have always done.

Only time will tell, but I am betting on Nature – she has never let us down yet, and I hope and pray that too much damage isn’t done by the best intentions of the radical vaccination proponents.

Dennis Perman DC, for The Masters Circle Global

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