The Wuhan Virus is Turning into a Wimp
Our medical care system itself is one of the biggest problems we face as we fight the coronavirus.
As we learn more about the COVID-19 Wuhan virus each day, it is becoming increasingly obvious that it isn’t the great threat to our health and survival we were initially led to believe. It is turning out to be more like the schoolyard bully I remember from grade school days who intimidated me with all sorts of name-calling and threats until the day arrived when I decided to fight back. He wasn’t expecting that and when he retreated, I realized he was just a loudmouthed wimp and he quit harassing me.
This isn’t to say the Wuhan virus cannot kill, because it is the nature of viruses to attack where they find weakness, multiply to overwhelm bodily defenses and ultimately kill the host. While that is happening in some cases, evidence is growing that it isn’t nearly as deadly as we were made to fear. Along with much lower death rates, there is growing anecdotal evidence that the people who tested positive and then died were victims of multiple conditions and it wasn’t the COVID-19 virus but a synergy of the multiple attackers that killed them.
In other words, compared to what we were told, the Wuhan virus is a wimp.
To understand this, consider the flu. Many patients suffering from the flu also develop pneumonia. The flu typically does not cause pneumonia. Rather, it creates the conditions in your lungs, allowing the bacteria or virus causing pneumonia to invade, multiply, and worsen until it becomes life-threatening. A postmortem testing of the fluid from the patient’s lungs may show that they were suffering from multiple infections at the same time while not displaying enough of the symptoms of any one of them to lead to a diagnosis of that disease. The medical term for that situation is “comorbidity” meaning that multiple causative factors existed at the time of death. Increasing numbers of anecdotal reports are telling us that patients dying from COVID-19 infection have one or more underlying medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or another condition that has reduced their overall health. People who smoke tobacco or marijuana or vape appear to be particularly at-risk.
Poor lifestyle is the primary cause for most of our diseases because of how it weakens us generally and reduces the ability of our body’s immune system to fight off infections like the coronavirus. Here are some examples of where we each have the power to improve our health and reduce our chances of infection:
- Stopping the smoking of tobacco or marijuana and vaping. These cause significant damage to the respiratory system and are primary causes of both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a variety of cancers. They significantly increase your chances of contracting respiratory illnesses while increasing the chances of the people living with you becoming ill from secondary exposure.
- Halting chemical substance abuse: Whether the excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages or the use of drugs, using these things cause direct damage to our bodies, reduce our overall immunity, and make us more likely to be injured or killed in an accident.
- Improving our dental hygiene. Regularly brushing your teeth and flossing between them prevents bacteria from colonizing and growing in the mouth before passing through the mucous membranes of the mouth and upper respiratory tract to invade the rest of the body. These invasions contribute to the development of heart disease, dementia, infertility, erectile dysfunction, pregnancy complications and even cancer.
- Improving the quality of the foods we eat. Type-II diabetes is just the leading disease on a list of problems that can be prevented, controlled and cured by eating a diet low in carbohydrates and sugars and high in fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Poor diet contributes to the development of inflammation throughout the body, cardiovascular disease, and cancers of the digestive system.
- Getting more exercise. Activity builds strength, both in our muscles and our immune systems while maintaining mental acuity. Ask a person who exercises regularly, and you will hear about how it makes them feel better and think more clearly. The combination of lack of activity with a poor diet is why so many Americans are becoming obese and suffering the raft of ailments that come with it.
What may surprise you is the biggest contributor to our suffering and dying from disease is our medical care system, because it is focused on treating illness instead of teaching us how to live to prevent illness. Our first thought when we get sick is to go to the doctor and ask for a pill to help us feel better without giving a thought to why we got sick. Doctors do not focus on teaching patients to prevent illness because insurance companies don’t pay them for the time required to do that. Plus, medical training is all about treating illness, and few medical schools teach anything about disease prevention. This focus has driven the development of advanced treatments that are keeping people alive for years beyond when the natural course of the disease they helped bring on themselves would have killed them. While we all want to keep our loved ones alive for as long as possible, what we have today is a large population of the suffering who are at increased risk of not being able to survive an otherwise simple infection like the COVID-19.
So long we as a nation continue down the path of just trying to cure illness, we will remain vulnerable to widespread infections and the fear that goes along with wondering if we’re going to be the next person who gets sick. It is in our power to choose the path to health and wellness.