An Antarctic Cure
mp3 | wav

long haul covid

Though American explorer, Frederick Albert Cook, claimed he was first to reach the North Pole, we can't be sure. But he is known for novel lifesaving treatments on a trapped crew in Antarctica for more than a year.

Cook joined seafaring expeditions to escape the trauma of losing his wife and child to childbirth. By the time he served as doctor on the Belgian Antarctic expedition in eighteen-ninety-eight, he had already been on several. The ship had been trapped in pack ice for four months and last seen sunshine two months before when the captain dragged himself to Dr. Cook. He had lost the use of his legs most likely from scurvy.

Scurvy comes from a lack of vitamin C for at least three months and causes anemia, skin hemorrhages and even death. Most animals and plants can make vitamin C but not us. To save the captain, Cook recalled lessons he had learned from the Inuit, people of the arctic who survive without the vitamin C from fruits. He ordered the Captain to drink only water and eat only penguin and seal meat. He also had him stand naked next to a fire three times a day, perhaps the first use of light therapy to treat seasonal depression. Within a week, the Captain was better, and the rest of the men were also treated.

It turns out that oils in caribou, fish, walrus, seal, and penguin contain enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy if they're not overcooked. Cook should have lived out his life as a hero, instead he went to prison for a ponzi scheme but was eventually pardoned just before his death.

For more information…

The Antarctic Expedition That Changed Modern Medicine
The American explorer Frederick Albert Cook is remembered today, if he's remembered at all, for having likely lied about reaching the North Pole in 1908. Hailed as the Neil Armstrong of his day when he announced he'd seen the top of the world, he very quickly became the Lance Armstrong of his day after being pegged as a fraud...

Who Discovered the North Pole?
A century ago, explorer Robert Peary earned fame for discovering the North Pole, but did Frederick Cook get there first?...

curvy is a condition that develops in people who do not consume an adequate amount of vitamin C in their diet. Although scurvy is relatively rare in the United States, it continues to be a problem in malnourished populations around the world (such as impoverished, underdeveloped third world countries)...