Disclaimer: I have ZERO medical education, I’m just a dude. Physicians and medical experts, if you think I’m wrong or want to add to this, by all means leave a comment and I’ll make corrections. I just want to see people survive this shit.
Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been spending hours reading articles about the deceased victims of COVID-19. There are countless articles about X individual dying that had Y underlying condition. One day it’s someone old, another it’s someone overweight or a Type-2 Diabetic or a smoker or a hard drug user. My reaction has been probably just like yours in that when I hear that I think, “well… I’m not old, I don’t do crystal meth and I’m not diabetic so I guess I don’t have any of those “underlying conditions” so I guess I’m good!”
I’d like to wake you all up in that the vast majority of us Americans have underlying conditions.
40% of Americans over 20 are overweight or worse, obese. 1 out of 3 American adults has hypertension (high blood pressure). Roughly 1 in 3 Americans over 20 has high cholesterol. 1 in 13 Americans has asthma. My point is that there is a huge portion of the American population with underlying conditions and that probably includes you. That means you’re at greater risk for getting seriously ill and dying from COVID-19. To add to that, many of these underlying conditions are within our control by at least some degree. So what does that mean to you?
COVID-19 kills its victims by basically suffocating them to death with viral pneumonia. The usable lung capacity of it’s victims is reduced drastically by 50% or more in extreme cases. If you get it, you’re going to want to be as healthy and have as much lung capacity and cardiovascular strength as you can to survive. I’m going to tell you that slowly suffocating to death is even worse than it sounds.
But you might say, I’m participating in social distancing so I’m all set, right? Maybe not.
Vietnam appears to have halted the infection in its tracks at roughly 240 total infected despite having just a fraction of the resources of other western nations. South Korea, for now, appears to have done the same and while I wish we did what these more resourceful nations did and got ahead of things by aggressively testing months ago, I think it’s good that we’re finally implementing socially distancing. Unfortunately, I think most of the medical experts and statistical modelers agree that our hopes for “stopping” COVID-19 are pretty bleak. It’s more about “flattening the curve.” Which make no mistake implies that a LOT more people are going to become infected over the coming weeks and months.
We are all going to have to go out and get food eventually, right? Which means if we don’t already have it, there’s a very real chance we might get it a week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 months, 3 months from now. With that said, these precious weeks and months might be the important times of our lives.
RIGHT NOW at home is our opportunity to immediately take drastic measures to get healthier to prepare our bodies for the fight of our lives.
Every pound of fat we lose, every point of cholesterol we drop, every % point of lung capacity and strength we gain, every point of our blood pressure we drop will likely give us a better chance at surviving.
I’m a reasonably healthy 31 year-old male and I’m scared. Before the gyms were shut down, I would workout 4 days a week. No one has ever called me fat but I could lose a few pounds off my belly, I have high LDL “bad” cholesterol and my blood pressure is a little high at 130/80. Anyone that looks at me would think I’m perfectly healthy. But my point in all this is that if you’ve ever gotten less than stellar health check results from your doctor, YOU ARE LIKELY AT GREATER RISK for poor outcomes with COVID-19.
Once I realized all this, I just realized that all of us should be at home preparing our bodies for the fight of our lives in case we do contract the virus weeks or even months from now. Once again, I’m NO medical professional but it just makes sense to take common sense steps RIGHT NOW to get in better shape and even just 2% healthier. It might literally be what saves your life if you do contract COVID-19. COVID-19 has been shown to push our cardiovascular and respiratory systems to their limits. It may likely be the worst battle most of our bodies will ever endure. We should be acting accordingly by preparing our bodies.
As you’ve probably read, this terrible virus has claimed the lives on young and old, healthy and sick. Even young, healthy adults with no underlying conditions are dying due to their immune systems overreacting and creating what are called “cytokine storms.” I have literally no idea what that means and suggest you do your own reading. But for the first time in our lives, there is a very real possibility that our bad habits, the smoking, the drinking, the vaping, the cheeseburgers and steaks may cost us our lives, not years down the road, but now. Think about the next time you’re about to eat or drink.
From all the reading I’ve done has made me realize that the things that are very much within our realm of control like our body fat, our cholesterol, our blood pressure, and potentially even our lung efficiency/capacity directly influence our chances at survival and this should be a massive wake up call that we should all be literally exercising and eating healthy like our lives depend on it because they very well might. Stop smoking immediately and trust me, I know how good a few drinks sound during a crisis like this, but our bodies could use a break now more than ever.
CDC link on COVID-19 Risk Factors: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/people-at-higher-risk.html
P.S. In any way you can, please support your local medical professionals and other essential supply chain workers. I think we’ve all discovered how much we’ve under-appreciated all the people who keep our bellies (and lungs) full.