While the Christmas seasons is full of traditions that stem from the Victorian era, diseases of this past era are also now returning.

England is reporting a rise in illnesses related to malnutrition:

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50 per cent in just four years.

Cases of other diseases rife in the Victorian era including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have also increased since 2010, although cases of TB, measles, typhoid and rickets have fallen.

While food poverty is one explanation, other factors must include immigration from third world countries and anti-vaccination adherents.

The British press is asserting that bigger government would solve this problem. Not so fast!

One American cafeteria worker doled out some charity along with a school lunch, and ran afoul of rules. In a move that can only be described as Scrooge-like, she was fired for the “theft” of $2 worth of food for a hungry child.

A school lunch lady in Idaho claims she was fired from her job last week after she gave a hungry student a free meal.

Dalene Bowden told KPVI that a 12-year-old girl came up to her and said she didn’t have any money for lunch.

“My heart hurts,” Bowden told KPVI. “I truly loved my job, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t do it again.”

Bowden said her supervisor saw her give the little girl food last Tuesday and reported the incident.

“He said I was on permanent leave until he called me. I should not call them. He will call me. And they never called me. I got the letter,” she explained.

The letter said that Bowden was terminated for “theft.”

Why is any child going without lunch, when the supposed unemployment rate is so low? Perhaps the reported number may not be the actual one?

But school kids aren’t the only Americans suffering from hunger in this country. There is a hidden epidemic of malnutrition among the elderly:

According to reports presented at the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, Fla., last month, more than a quarter of seniors are hungry or at nutritional risk. Also, researchers found that as many as two-thirds of older hospitalized patients are poorly nourished.

The problem with malnutrition is especially challenging for those 65 or older because it can trigger or worsen chronic diseases. Poor nutrition may increase the chances of infection, delay normal healing and result in longer hospital stays. Not only does poor nutrition affect the health and wellbeing of elders, but it can also create significant financial distress.

Furthermore, most states get low marks for effective disease preparedness.

Less than half the states in the United States score a five or higher on 10 indicators experts say are key to detecting, diagnosing and responding to outbreaks, according to a new report.

The Trust for America’s Health released it’s latest report on the country’s preparedness for an outbreak, finding 28 states and Washington, D.C., are not ready to handle health threats from superbugs, hospital-borne infections, the flu, food-borne illnesses and epidemic diseases such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Considering the current state of our country, especially with Barack Obama at the helm for almost 7 years, England might just be our “Ghost of Christmas” future.

(Featured image from the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol”).