It’s November, and we’re still in the pandemic. COVID-19 cases are rising, and it looks like we’re topping what was the original peak in April/May.
Are there any lessons that we can learn from this? I think so.
COVID-19 is smacking us in the face and showing us how unhealthy we are. We are susceptible to viral infections and susceptible to bad outcomes from those infections.
Only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy. This includes good blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.
Lifestyle-related diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, have become our leading causes of death.
The CDC website shows that 94% of COVID-related deaths had at least one comorbidity, with an average of 2.6 additional health conditions. This includes heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. All lifestyle-related conditions.
American culture encourages us to be stressed, whether through over-working professionally or over-stimulated through social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and other means. Busy busy busy! Too much stress suppresses our immune response and makes us more susceptible to infectious diseases.
If we didn’t have enough problems with this alone…..there was a recent study published by the CDC that shows mask-wearing to be ineffective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Shawn Stevenson explains it better than I can. There is other clinical evidence that mask-wearing is ineffective at reducing the spread of infectious disease.
Viruses are so tiny, you can’t imagine how small they are. They really don’t care about our masks. They can get around them, through them…..they can do whatever they want.
We really only have two options to prevent the spread of disease:
- Stay the hell away from each other, which has incredible consequences since we are social beings and biologically need connection. Lack of connection can cause disease and death.
- Start taking steps to improve our health and reduce our susceptibility to infectious disease.
Americans didn’t become this sick by themselves. We didn’t do this on our own. Our systems and culture encourage it.
Our food industry takes actions to maximize profits, not maximize our health. They add ingredients to their food to make it more profitable. More chemicals, more pesticides, more flavor-enhancing agents, you name it.
We’ve been taught that all calories are the same, and that 200 calories of Snickers bars and 200 calories of broccoli are essentially the same thing.
What we’re learning now is that food is information. The nutrients, or lack thereof, in food talk to our genes and either activate genes that promote health or sickness. What we eat matters.
The nutrients in the food that we’ve evolved eating for hundreds of thousands of years activate genes that promote health. The chemicals that have been created in factories during the industrial revolution? Not so much.
Our healthcare industry has become profitable by diagnosing our symptoms and prescribing drugs to treat those symptoms. It doesn’t dig in deep to try and find the root causes of those symptoms.
You wind up managing your symptoms through medication that you pay for until the day you die, instead of uncovering the root cause of what ails you and working to eliminate it. Not very profitable for the companies that make these medications.
There’s a growing healthcare approach called Functional Medicine which seeks to uncover the root cause of what ails you.
I’m very passionate about this subject because I managed to transform my own health, through a combination of inner work, self-education, community, and qualified professionals. I was a victim of the food industry, the healthcare system, and American culture.
I walked around with unknown, untreated trauma for 38 years, and it wreaked havoc on my health. The trauma was the root cause, and I’m in treatment for it, and it has changed absolutely everything. I also cleaned up my diet, got necessary exercise, and learned stress management along the way.
So this is why I want to scream when our government has an all-hands-on-deck effort to keep us away from each other and wearing masks and no all-hands-on-deck effort to get us healthier. People need help to do this. They need resources and support. They don’t need their primary care physician telling them to “eat fruits and vegetables and exercise” with no support on how to make that happen.
We are a sick nation, and I blame the systems and culture for making us this sick. I do not blame the individuals who grew up in this system the same way I did and ended up the same way I did. I do not blame individuals for their health conditions. I found my way out, and I want to help others do the same.
Can we have a conversation about this? On how we can improve our health to make ourselves less susceptible to infectious disease?
Maybe you can’t. Maybe your condition is severe enough that you don’t have the resources that you would need to reverse your condition. I certainly understand that.
I’m asking for a conversation with the collective “we”. I’m asking for a conversation that could help millions of people reverse their chronic diseases and conditions with simple lifestyle choices and getting curious about their pain to identify untreated traumas/wounds that would help improve their mental health.
If we can help millions of people reduce their susceptibility to COVID-19, then we could reduce the spread.