After lockdown - Part 2: The pertinent bit you really need to know
Part 2 (2 of 5)
Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown.
This week, I will be sharing a series of news updates with you, trying to summarise the present pandemic crisis in terms of your health, where we are now, and what you might like to focus on going forwards in order to protect yourself as much as possible. I will include links to some free resources (and a few paid products that can help you) for you every day.
Your health and your future after lockdown.
- Part 1: What we have learned so far. Facts that matter, in brief.
- Part 2: The pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand.
- Part 3: You, vulnerability, and your best defence.
- Part 4: Strategy for the future, step by step.
- Part 5: Summary of the whole week, brief and visual.
Part 2 of 5 - Tuesday:
The pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand.
Yesterday I shared a summary of where we are so far, I provided you with lots of links for those who wanted to watch/read/learn more, and I listed some of the most clearly identified risk factors associated with the most severe outcomes for patients with Covid-19.
If we had to summarise yesterday’s post in two sentences, it might be to say:
“Our world has changed; there is a new disease around and there is a high likelihood that at some point over the next few years, everyone is going to be exposed to it. The degree to which that might make you ill, depends on a few factors you can’t change (age, gender, ethnicity, ex-smoker status) and a few factors you can change - obesity, metabolic health, cardiovascular health and immune system health.”
The point of this post is to clarify the most important bit that I feel a lot of people don’t yet fully appreciate.
Again, for brevity and clarity, I’m going to bullet point this for you - I want the points to be clear, not lost in waffle:
- Lockdown isn’t going to last forever.
- When lockdown is over, and we all start going out again, to work, to socialise, to get on with our lives, many of us will then become exposed to this virus.
- If it’s “not safe” for you out there now, in May 2020, what makes you think it will be safe for you out there in August, or November, or February next year?
- It won’t be.
- As explained in the lengthy and detailed webinar I shared yesterday, lockdown and social distancing is designed to suppress the peak, to save the NHS (and other health services in other countries) from being overwhelmed with high demand.
- As John Cairns quite famously pointed out in November 1985 in Scientific American, (Quoted by Siddhartha Mukherjee here) “In the history of medicine, no signficant disease has ever been eradicated by a treatment-related program alone. If one plotted the decline in deaths from tuberculosis, for instance, the decline predated the arrival of new antibiotics by several decades. Far more potently than any miracle medicine, relatively uncelebrated shifts in civic arrangements - better nutrition, housing, and sanitation, improved sewage systems and ventilation - had driven TB mortality down in Europe and America. Polio and smallpox had also dwindled as a result of vaccinations. The death rates from malaria, cholera, typhus, tuberculosis, scurvy, pellagra and other scourges of the past have dwindled in the US because humankind has learned how to prevent these disease.”
- My point is: don’t think we will go into lockdown, sit home for 12 weeks, then come out and just go back to normal, “oh yippee everyone is safe again, they have a new pill that can cure this thing.” Nope. No major disease has ever been eradicated through cure - only through prevention.
- So, lockdown is meant to suppress the peak, the surge. If tens of thousands of elderly, immune compromised and vulnerable people all got sick with Covid-19 at the same time, the NHS would be overwhelmed, and would have no capacity (beds, doctors, nurses, drugs, surgeons, etc.) to cope with all that they normally do - helping with heart attacks, cancer patients, car crashes, and so on.
- In such a surge, not only would Covid-19 sufferers die, but so would many other people, through lack of resources to help them and treat them.
- You can see, lockdown is essential to save lives, and there may be further lockdowns in the future (we don’t yet know if this virus will be seasonal or not).
- But lockdown is not a cure. It won’t cure the disease or make the virus go away. All lockdown is doing is slowing the rate of spread.
- It buys the NHS some time, to build new health care capacity.
- I believe, that most of the ‘old, existing NHS infrastructure’ will then go back to doing its’ regular work, while the new capacity will come online to treat Covid-19.
- It’s going to take some time to make, test, manufacture and roll out, a safe and effective vaccine. This might be 18 months, but it could be 18 years, or more, we just don’t know.
- (Taking influenza as an example, in 1918 the pandemic killed many millions. Since then, a century of research and development, and we still have to ‘best guess’ a new batch of vaccines every year, and flu still kills half a million people every season. Please understand, coming out of lockdown doesn’t mean a vaccine is just around the corner and everything is going to be OK.)
- And we can’t stay locked down for the long term, as the economic cost to the UK, and to the world, will ultimately cost more lives than we are trying to save.
I am sorry, this isn’t exactly cheery bedtime story stuff, is it.
Remember, yesterday in Part 1 I set out the basic facts we know so far, and concluded that the best thing you can do to help yourself is to use this time at home on lockdown to start working on yourself, start working on being the healthiest person you can be.
Today in Part 2, the pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand is this:
- There is a new virus around, and it’s not going away.
- After lockdown, it’ll still be here.
- Lockdown won’t cure it.
- It’s incredibly unlikely that a ‘cure’ will be invented any time soon.
- A vaccine might be two years away, or two decades, or more.
- After lockdown, you have to go back out, to normal life, and when you do, you will be exposed to this virus.
- How much the virus harms you, is partly (largely) determined by how healthy you are.
- Time to focus on your own good health, it’s the best defence you have. More on this tomorrow, in Part 3.
If you are ready to start taking your health seriously, if waiting for Part 3 tomorrow seems like a delayed opportunity, why not dive in to some of these free resources and get started today.
Subscribe to my blog.
Join my newsletter.
Download some free ebooks.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Learn about the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet.
If you really want to get your game face on, check out my book now and order a copy ASAP while you have time at home to read it and implement healthy changes into your life right away.
Tomorrow, in Part 3, and on Thursday in Part 4, we’ll look in more detail at what you can do right now, while you’re at home on lockdown, to start getting healthier, improve your metabolic function, improve your immune health and improve your fitness.
Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay healthy.