I do not love continuing to write about COVID-19, but it is still such a major focus in our lives, I feel the need to continue to share my evolving thoughts as this pandemic evolves. So, here are a handful of things related to this virus that might help redirect your focus and reduce your fear and anxiety. And remember… I am not providing medical advice or telling you what to do. I am merely sharing my thoughts and perspectives with you, as a healthcare provider and person dedicated to helping as many people as I can. It helps to have ALL the information before making decisions or taking action.
First, it is no surprise that the number of cases is, and will continue to, go up these next four to six weeks. With more people going back to work, schools resuming, and students getting back to their colleges and universities, the number WILL go up. Fortunately, because these younger, healthier people are much less prone to complications from this virus, we will see the overall death rate continue to decline.
Second, I believe this virus is unavoidable. Avoiding a virus is very, very difficult if you leave your house at any time or receive things at your house at any time. Exposure to this virus at some point, I believe, is inevitable.
Third, last Monday the CDC changed its COVID-19 testing guidelines. According to an article from Business Insider, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly modified its testing guidelines on Monday and no longer recommends people who are asymptomatic to get tested for the virus.” Being that the death rate is the most important number to watch, it is critical that we know how many people have been infected with the virus so we can use that number to get an accurate death rate. The CDC has stated that 40% of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. Without including asymptomatic people, the death rate will look much worse than it actually is, thus making this pandemic appear much worse than it is. Many scientists and health care experts agree that the CDC’s change in guidelines is a terrible idea and makes no sense. According to an article on the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy’s website, “The change, made without any rationale or explanation, further erodes the scientific community’s confidence in the CDC.”
Forth, before freaking out and thinking you are doomed, remember that Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, had said back in June that, “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections.” And according to a Washington Post article from August 8th, “A Boston homeless shelter had 147 infected residents, but 88 percent had no symptoms even though they shared their living space. A Tyson Foods poultry plant in Springdale, Arkansas had 481 infections, and 95 percent were asymptomatic. Prisons in Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia counted 3,277 infected people, but 96 percent were asymptomatic.” This is GREAT news!
I used the words “my evolving thoughts” in the first line of this article. What’s evolving is what I believe needs clarifying or pointed out. My primary thought has never changed… that those with the weakest immune systems are the most vulnerable, making those with the strongest immune systems the LEAST vulnerable. Therefore, your primary efforts need to be focused on being in that stronger immune group by building your health and maximizing your ability to fight ALL pathogens. This will NEVER come in the form of a shot, a pill, a lotion, or a potion. It comes from eating real, whole foods, reducing your sugar intake, moving your body daily, managing your stress levels, and getting adequate, high-quality sleep.