We are entering week seven of our shelter in place and I have been watching to see when certain pieces of data would begin coming in. When the pandemic hit, it wasn’t the complete wipe (no pun intended) out of toilet paper in the stores that freaked me out, but rather an article I read stating Hostess Twinkies and Ding Dongs were in short demand due to panic buying. My critical thinking, health conscience, and sugar-free mind knew immediately this was a terrible marker for mankind.
When I hear all this talk about flattening the curve, I know there is more to that than washing my hands, wearing a face mask, and staying six feet apart from others. If I am serious about protecting myself and others, I need to get serious about protecting myself and others, in all aspects.
I worked with a health coach in 2018 who showed me what the extra weight was doing not only to my joints but to my internal organs. It was time to not just slow but stop the spread. In the next nine months, I socially distanced from my refrigerator. The body is an incredibly resilient piece of machinery manufactured by our Creator. We can fight off non-genetic diseases and threats naturally if we allow our bodies to function as they were intended. If we treat our bodies even somewhat right, they bounce back! I am stronger and leaner than I was as a cadet in the Air Force Academy in my early 20’s.
I, like all of you, have watched with a critical mind the “discussions” about the coronavirus over the past months. People are telling others to Stay Healthy, myself included. But hard facts are now coming out. People need to #GetHealthy before they can #StayHealthy. Obesity is an epidemic in this country yet if one mentions how unhealthy obesity is deemed they are deemed a fat shamer. The fact is I was obese and this morbidity factor was all my doing. It wasn’t genetic; it was a lifestyle illness. Quite simply, I loved food more than I loved caring for my body.
There is now grounded research based on data emerging across all spectrums linking obesity to COVID-19. I did find one research work and have included the link below along with some of the salient points.
Factors associated with hospitalization and critical illness among 4,103 patients with COVID-19 disease in New York City https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.08.20057794
This work was funded in part by the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, which had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
Strongest hospitalization risks were age ≥75 years (OR 66.8, 95% CI, 44.7-102.6), age 65-74 (OR 10.9, 95% CI, 8.35-14.34), BMI>40 (OR 6.2, 95% CI, 4.2-9.3), and heart failure (OR 4.3 95% CI, 1.9-11.2). In the decision tree for admission, the most important features were age >65 and obesity.
Article’s Conclusions: Age and comorbidities (presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in an individual) are powerful predictors of hospitalization; however, admission oxygen impairment and markers of inflammation are most strongly associated with a critical illness.
Instead of #StayHealthy, we should be focused on #GetHealthy. You can't stay something until you are something. For example, I can’t #StayMarried until I #GetMarried. The only people dispensing directives to others should be those who #GotHealthy. After all, you cannot mandate anyone to lead a healthy lifestyle. You can only make them aware of the risks and encourage the benefits, but the rest is up to them. And boy do we have a hard time holding ourselves accountable!!
When this is over, we’ll see how serious Americans are about slowing their spread and flattening their curves in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. If this virus gets us serious about reclaiming our health so we can be better equipped to ward off and combat all the bad things out there waiting to attack us, then we will be so much more prepared for the next pandemic. If not, then we shouldn’t be shocked when we allow morbidity factors to steal our lives away prematurely. I cannot stop the hands of time, but I can stop my own physical spread. Let's do what we can to protect others, but let us never neglect taking care of ourselves.
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