By now, you know what you should be doing to decrease your chances of getting COVID-19, the horrible disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus:
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face
- Maintain social distance
- Avoid large gatherings
But wait: There is one more thing! You might say it is the most important thing to focus on right now because doing this one thing could mean the difference between life and death if you are unlucky enough to get COVID-19.
What if I told you this one factor increases your chances of requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit by 36%? Or that in severe cases, this factor can makes a 5-fold difference in your risk of dying from COVID-19*? Would you be interested?
Hell, if some pharmaceutical company came out with a drug that would improve your chances of survival by even 20%, the stock market would go wild! What if instead of side-effects, this new drug would also reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, and even heartburn and constipation? You would probably be begging for this new treatment, right?
Of course, no such medication exists. The best drug we have right now against COVID-19 is dexamethasone, an old-fashioned steroid medication with a host of nasty side-effects. At best, this medication improves your chances of survival by a lowly 12%, and that is only if you have severe disease requiring a ventilator. If you just have bad disease and are in the hospital requiring oxygen, dexamethasone will reduce your risk of death by only 2.9%. Not much to write home about…
So what is this amazing “treatment” for COVID-19 that I keep alluding to? Well here it is: Maintain or achieve a normal body weight. That’s it. That’s the secret. Obesity is the big modifiable risk factor associated with a poor outcome from COVID-19.
Therefore, it would stand to reason that “Take efforts to combat obesity” should be #6 on that list of anti-COVID-19 measures above. So why isn’t it?
Well, it is easy to tell people “wear a mask.” It’s comfortable to think you are doing your part by simply washing your hands frequently. But what if Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx got behind the podium at a national news conference and told the population of the United States, “Y’all need to lose some weight!” In a country where 71.6% of the population is either overweight or obese, what would people say?
And even if the nation’s top doctors in charge of the coronavirus pandemic mustered the courage to state these uncomfortable facts openly, exactly how do they suggest that the majority of the US population actually lose the weight? People have been trying to lose excess weight since the beginning of the modern age. Doctors have been giving patients the same tired weight loss advice from the 1970s for the past 50 years!
Yet people keep gaining weight. The percentage of Americans who classify as obese (BMI > 30) has been rising steadily from 1988 (22.9% of adults classified as obese) to the present day, where we now have 42% of adults classified as obese (2018 estimate according to the CDC).
So what should we be doing?
This crazy quarantine period is a great time to focus on losing some excess weight! With work schedules being irregular and many still working from home, there will never be a better time to focus a little more on yourself.
You can always make an excuse as to why you “can’t” do it right now, but you know as well as I do that your excuses are just lies that you tell yourself (and that others accept without too many uncomfortable questions) all in the name of protecting your ego. Maintain comfort at all costs!
One thing that you should not be doing is making the situation worse by eating more unhealthy food and watching TV all day during “quarantine.” You are not really being quarantined after all: In a true lockdown, people are not allowed to take a walk around the neighborhood, go to work, and order take-out food.
Don’t use the quarantine mindset as an excuse to dig yourself deeper into an unhealthy lifestyle. The “Quarantine 15” weight gain is real, and that extra fifteen pounds will only make it that much easier for COVID-19 to kill you if you are unfortunate enough to contract a severe case!
Instead you should fight! Fight to lose that excess weight! Fight for a better chance at living! Fight for a healthier you!
The Q15 program gives you the tools you need to start fighting, but you are the one who must use them. While you are doing the program, visualize yourself moving forward down the path of health and life, while so many others are unfortunately moving backwards.
No one can predict the future. The virus might be coming for you soon, or we might get a vaccine that will save us all—either way, investing in yourself will always be time well-spent. Look at it this way: If the virus is eradicated by this time next year, a healthier you will still stand a better chance against all of those boring old killer diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, liver disease, all sorts of cancers…
* In young patients (<50 years old), severe obesity (BMI>40) was associated with a 5-fold increased risk of death from COVID-19 in this study from NYC.