Hunting the Wumpus Cure

WumpusDick and Jane are getting ready for the hunt. 

Dick: I’m really excited! We’re heading into the jungle to hunt the famous wumpus.

Jane: What’s a wumpus?

Dick: You know, a wumpus.

Jane: I don’t know. What does a wumpus look like?

Dick: It doesn’t look like anything. Nobody knows what it looks like. Nobody has ever caught a wumpus before.

Jane: How would you describe a wumpus? Does it look like a hippopotamus?  Does it look like a hummingbird? Is it a carnivore, or an vegetarian? Does it walk on two legs or four? Swim? Fly?

Dick: I don’t know. Nobody knows.

Jane: How will we know if we found one?  How will we know if it finds us?

Dick: It’s obvious.  We’ll know it when we see it.

=========== and off they go, to hunt the Wumpus ==============

Doctor Dick and Doctor Jane are getting ready to hunt the cure. 

Dr. Dick: I’m so excited. We’re going to find the cure.

Dr Jane: The cure?

Dr Dick: Yes, the cure for this illness.

Dr. Jane: No, I don’t know. What does a cure look like?

Dr. Dick: It doesn’t look like anything. Nobody knows what a cure looks like. Nobody has ever cured this illness before.

Dr. Jane: What are the signs of a cure? What will it look like?

Dr Dick: I don’t know. Nobody knows.

Dr Jane: How will we know if we’ve found a cure? What if it catches us instead?

Dr Dick: It’s obvious.  We’ll know it when we see it.


Cure, the words cure, cures and cured are not in the Webster’s New World Dictionary of Medicine, Third Edition. Cure is not in the indexes, and not defined in Merck’s Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, nor Harrison’s Guide to Internal Medicine, nor Lange’s Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, nor the DSM 5 reference book for mental illness.

From a medical perspective, cures are only defined for illnesses caused by parasites, where a cure consists of killing the parasite.  For any illnesses not caused by a parasite, ‘cure’ and cured are simply not defined.

If someone’s diabetes, obesity, depression, Parkinson’s, arthritis, or any other illness not caused by a parasite is cured – no one can see the cure, no doctor can diagnose the cure.  Dooctors diagnose illnesses, not cures.

No one, can prove, to anyone, that a cure has been found.

Maybe you’ve noticed, that only alternative medical practitioners are brave, or perhaps stupid enough to use the word cure. But this presents no problems. When anyone claims a cure, nobody pays attention. No one can validate the cure, because cured, like the wumpus, is unknown, undefined.

It’s time to define cure and cured.  For the health of it.

Cure – verb. To stop the progress of an illness by addressing the cause.

Cured – when the progress of an illness has been stopped, by addressing the cause.

to your health, tracy


About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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