Biblical and Constitutional Politics
My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis
(Plus Additional Coronavirus Information and an Overview of the Crisis)
By Gary F. Zeolla
This four-part article is continued from My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis (Plus Additional Coronavirus Information and an Overview of the Crisis) – Part One.
Lifestyle Related Preexisting Conditions
Moving from the elderly to those under 65, they would also fall into the same two categories as the elderly: those with preexisting conditions that put them at elevated serious CV consequences risk and those who do not have such conditions. But the former category could also be broken down into two categories: conditions that are lifestyle related and those that are not lifestyle related.
By the former, I am primarily referring to being overweight or obese and having hypertension and/ or diabetes. All of these are related to how someone lives their life. People become overweight due to over consumption of calories and/ or lack of exercise, at least in the vast majority of the cases. It is exceedingly rare that someone has a metabolic disorder that causes their obesity. But for the rest, that over consumption of calories is usually in the form of junk foods of one sort or another. Then that over consumption of junk food, with its high salt and processed carb content, leads to hypertension and diabetes, respectively.
Again, there are some, namely those with Type I diabetes, whose diabetes is not lifestyle related, but again, Type I diabetes is relatively rare as compared to Type II diabetes, which is lifestyle related. And again, there are some for whom their hypertension is genetic, but for most, it is lifestyle related. In the following comments, I am referring to those for whom these conditions are lifestyle related.
That said, what being overweight or obese, hypertension, and diabetes have in common is all of these conditions increase a person’s risk of serious CV consequences. In fact, the vast majority of the non-elderly who experience serious CV consequences have or more of these conditions.
Given that fact, the obvious solution for those with these conditions is to alter their lifestyle, which is to say, improve their diets and to start exercising, so as to lose weight and to lower their blood pressure and blood sugar naturally. But making doing so difficult is the absolutely idiotic practice of many governors of closing gyms, parks, beaches, garden shops, and golf courses.
I have been protesting about such closures since this CV crisis began. The reason is, we have known from the start that, next to age, hypertension and diabetes are the two main risk factors for serious CV consequences. More recently, the connection to being overweight or obese was proven, but given that these conditions usually occur together, it is hard to tease out which is most at fault. But that does not matter, as the prescription for all of them is the same—a healthy diet and exercise.
In any case, my plan would be for the gyms, parks, beaches, garden shops, and golf courses to be immediately reopened. I have described methods by which gyms could do so safely previously, so I will not repeat that here. But in regard to parks, beaches, and golf courses, evidence is emerging that there is a reduced risk of CV infection when outside as compared to being inside. That is so for a couple of reasons.
First, there is the sunlight. Not only does that boost a person’s immune system, making them less likely to suffer serious CV consequences, but there is growing evidence sunshine kills the virus itself. Second, there is growing evidence that wind moving the virus particles around make them less likely to infect someone. That makes the closure of parks, beaches, and golf courses even more ridiculous than the closure of gyms.
In the short run, closing parks may seem prudent, when our hospitals are overrun and we are trying so hard to curb the spread of COVID-19. But in the medium to long run, it will turn out to be a mistake that backfires at every level. While it’s imperative that people comply with social-distancing and other guidelines to fight this pandemic, shutting down all parks and trails is unsustainable, counterproductive, and even harmful…
The outdoors, exercise, sunshine, and fresh air are all good for people’s immune systems and health, and not so great for viruses…
Unlike poorly ventilated apartment buildings that are often very conducive to spreading infections, sunlight and natural ventilation outdoors help decrease the threat of infection. (Atlantic).
But still, social distancing should be practiced whether in a gym, a park, a garden shop, at the beach, or on a golf course. And while you are still at elevated risk due to these conditions, you should also wear a mask when feasible.
But in regard to gyms, it is true you do not need to go to one to begin to change your lifestyle to get fit. But the situation here is similar to what I say elsewhere about churches and establishing a relationship with God. You do not need to go to church to do so, but for many, that is often the first step. Similarly, you do not need to go to a gym to start to change your lifestyle habits, but that is often the first step in someone doing so.
That is why gyms need to be reopened immediately. Keeping them closed is hindering those who need to start a get fit program, and it is causing those who were fit to lose that fitness. That is increasing their risk of serious CV consequences. Again, that is why the closure of gyms is absurd.
In any case, with this CV crisis, those who need to get fit have an extra incentive to do so. Not only will doing so enable you to lower your risk of severe complications from hypertension or diabetes, but you will also lower your risk of serious CV consequences.
I also need to add COPD to this category of being lifestyle related. I previously put it into the non-lifestyle related category. But then I did just a bit of research and found it is most often caused by smoking, 90% of the time in fact.
Smoking itself is and always has been dumb. I have never been able to understand why anyone would do that to themselves. It just makes no sense given the many known health problems it can cause. But now, with it causing COPD, which in turn increases the risk of serious CV consequences, that is yet one more reason for those who smoke to quit.
However, and sadly, even if someone does quit, it will take some time for that to have an effect on their COPD. That is why those with COPD need to take extra precautions. Self-isolate as much as possible, wear a mask and practice social distancing when going out, and avoid large gatherings.
Finally, I had not mentioned golf courses previous to this section, not being a golfer myself. But for many, it is their main form of exercise. And now, as some states are re-opening golf courses, they are encouraging golfers to not use a cart. That is good, as without a cart, golfers will get more exercise than if one were to be used.
Addressing this Problem
Now to get myself in trouble. What the preceding section means is, not counting NYC residents, the second most vulnerable population to those in nursing homes are those who are overweight and have hypertension and/ or diabetes as a result, whether elderly or non-elderly. But unlike those in nursing homes, for whom it is their age that most puts them at high risk, and of course, there is nothing you can do about getting older, there is plenty this vulnerable population could have done and could now do to reduce their risk of serious CV consequences.
Health authorities have been warning us for decades that being overweight is a risk factor for hypertension and diabetes, while hypertension and diabetes are risk factors for a myriad of health problems, most notably heart disease. Heart disease is then itself a risk factor for serious CV consequences.
This whole continuum could be stopped in its tracks if overweight Americans would just lose weight through a combination of healthy diet and exercise. As an encouragement for people to do so, I started my Fitness for One and All website back in 2003, publish a bimonthly fitness newsletter, and have written two books on nutrition: God-given Foods Eating Plan and Creationist Diet: Second Edition. The books look at what both the Bible and science teach as what constitutes a healthy diet, as an extra incentive to Christians to follow the advice. And all of these sources have information about losing weight and controlling hypertension and diabetes.
That website and my book on powerlifting also provide information on exercise. That is the other half of the equation in controlling one’s weight, hypertension, and diabetes. I even have a two-part article on my fitness website titled Training Routine for the Totally Out of Shape. Check that out if that describes you.
Of course, my voice is not alone. There is a myriad of sources for information on diet and exercise, some very good, some not so good. But despite all of this information and encouragement, the fact still remains that two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and one-third are obesely so. As a result, “More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure” (AHA). Similarly, “More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes” (CDC). Please note, these two numbers do not add up to 200 million, as many Americans have both hypertension and diabetes. But still, it means a whole lot of Americans have one or both maladies.
That is why the CV has hit the non-elderly population so hard in the USA. But it is hard to put an exact percentage on the number of CV deaths among the non-elderly which are due to the person having high blood pressure or diabetes. It could range anywhere from 50-90% or more from what I have been able to determine. But just going with the lower percentage, that means, after you cut the death count in half for nursing home residents, you can cut it in half again for those with these preexisting conditions.
Given that dramatic of a difference, you would think the authorities would be harping everyday about overweight Americans losing weight in order to control their hypertension and diabetes. But I have yet to hear a single authority ever mention this very important point. Not one. I can only guess they fear they will be accused of “blaming the victim” if they say the reason someone who was overweight and had diabetes died was because he did not take care of himself prior to contracting the CV. But the facts are, that is the case.
My point is, if we really want to control this virus, we need to be honest and realize it is the unhealthy habits of so many Americans that has made this such a crisis. As such, the authorities need to be honest with people and tell them to lose weight, control their hypertension, control their diabetes, and their risk of serious CV consequences will be drastically reduced.
Moreover, for all of those in this category of those with elevated serious CV consequences due to lifestyle created conditions, you are in no position to complain about having to follow the mitigation restrictions. Remember, you did it to yourself due to your lack of self-discipline and self-responsibility. Don’t expect everyone else to change their lives to protect you. I know that sound harsh, but it is the fact of the matter.
Less someone accused me of not caring about those in this category, again my fitness website, newsletter, and nutrition books are directed in many ways towards them. I have been trying for many years to encourage them to change their ways and live healthier lives. That is because I indeed care about my fellow-Americans in this category. But I cannot find much sympathy when those who refused to do suffer adverse health consequences as result, be it from the CV or some other malady. They have done it to themselves. But the next people group of people is in a far different situation.
Non-lifestyle Related Preexisting Conditions
The next people group is those with non-lifestyle related preexisting conditions. Foremost among these would be those with asthma. To be honest, I know little about his condition, except that is generally not lifestyle related, though little is really known about what causes it. “It isn’t clear why some people get asthma and others don’t, but it’s probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors” (Mayo). Although, being a smoker and being overweight are possible risk factors, and those again are lifestyle issues that can be changed. But many with asthma would not fall into either of those categories.
Asthma is a risk factor for many health problems, including it was thought for serious CV consequences. But more recent research show it is not as great of a risk factor as originally thought:
The top Covid-19 comorbidities listed by New York, in order, are hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, dementia and atrial fibrillation, a heart condition. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], another respiratory ailment, but one with an older demographic than asthma, ranks seventh. Renal disease, cancer and congestive heart failure round out the list (NYT).
This should be good news to those with asthma. But note on that list near the top, right after hypertension and diabetes comes “high cholesterol.” That is yet another lifestyle related condition that I had not seen before this quote. But it also is related to diet and exercise.
Then comes “coronary artery disease.” That is most often the result of the preceding three, which is to say, it is lifestyle related. “Dementia and atrial fibrillation’ then are not. COPD then mostly is, as just discussed. Then comes “renal disease,” which I know nothing about, but cancer and congestive heart failure are often lifestyle related.
My point is, as you look at this list of conditions that increase the risk of serious CV consequences, they are mostly lifestyle related, all going back to diet and exercise. You just cannot get away from that fact, yet the authorities are literally saying nothing about these two simple steps that could save thousands of Americans from a CV-related death.
On dementia, those with this condition generally end up in a nursing home or assisted care facility. Thus, my comments about nursing home residents would probably include them. They are also usually elderly, so again, my comments in that regard would include them.
As for those conditions that are not lifestyle related, people with these conditions know who they are and need to take special precautions against the CV. But fortunately, even adding up asthma, atrial fibrillation, and renal disease, that is a tiny percentage of the US population. A much greater percentage would be the next group.
The Fit and Healthy
The fit and healthy. These are those who do not have any of the preceding conditions. They are the ones who generally exercise and watch their diets. In other words, they have already been doing what we have all been told to do for many years to do to take care of ourselves. As a result, they are at little risk of serious CV consequences. If they get infected, most likely they will only have moderate or mild CV consequences, if they have any symptoms at all.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover (Trib. A.G.).
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus (AP. Vermont).
The WHO reported last month about 80% of patients have a mild to moderate disease from infection. A case of “mild” COVID-19 includes a fever and cough more severe than the seasonal flu but does not require hospitalization.
Those milder cases are because the body’s immune response is able to contain the virus in the upper respiratory tract, Hirsch says. Younger patients have a more vigorous immune response compared to older patients.
The 13.8% of severe cases and 6.1% critical cases are due to the virus trekking down the windpipe and entering the lower respiratory tract, where it seems to prefer growing (USA Today).
Based on the current data, 95 percent of people who get the coronavirus will experience mild to moderate symptoms, says Sandro Galea, the dean of Boston University’s School of Public Health. Some people will get the coronavirus and not even know they have it.
A bad case of coronavirus for a healthy person will likely be no worse than a bad case of regular flu, Galea says, causing a headache, fever, soreness, nausea, and a cough. You will recover from it in a matter of days (again, based on the current data).
Right now, [Dr. Sarah] Fortune says, there is a bit of a misconception about what the coronavirus means for the vast majority of the public. The reality is: Most young people — and almost all children — can be infected with this virus and be fine, Dr. Fortune says (Rolling Stone).
The difference between 80% and 95% is probably because the WHO study was based on data from China, while the 95% is for here in the USA. China has a much greater problem with air pollution overall than here in the USA. That is why you often saw pictures of Chinese people wearing masks long before this CV crisis began. The masks were to protect themselves from the high pollution rates. And again, high pollution is a risk factor, worsening a person’s response to the CV.
Pollution is also why NYC has a higher percentage than other areas of the country of the young and healthy who appear to have no preexisting conditions but who experience serious CV consequences. NYC’s high pollution rate in effect gives everyone there, even the fit and healthy, a preexisting condition, that of lowered lung function due to the high pollution.
In any case, these 80-95% statistics are for people overall. If you consider just the fit and healthy, these percentages would be even higher. And with either stat, the point is (those in NYC excepted), the vast majority of the fit and healthy who get infected with the CV do not experience severe CV consequences. Many do not have any symptoms at all.
As such, it makes little sense to put severe restrictions on them due to the CV. In fact, doing so is counterproductive. If all of these people were to get infected, that would enable our society to acquire “herd immunity,” and that would all but end this crisis:
Therefore, if we stop the quarantine for all low-risk people now, herd immunity would develop more quickly. If we also were to keep the elderly and high-risk people isolated from everyone else during this time, including their own family members (i.e., a partial quarantine), we would save countless lives, while also decreasing the stress on the medical system.
This strategy would also limit the stress on the medical system caused by the fear and panic induced by the full quarantine, a variable that has not been considered in most models and to which any physician on the frontlines can attest. And there would be limited impact on the economy (Federalist).
Meanwhile, the fit and healthy are the people who should be at work, living their lives. If they get infected, they might be sick for a few days, as I was, and that will be that. They will just shrug it off like any other sickness and go on with their lives. Most especially, these people should continue with their healthy habits by going to gyms, parks, beaches or wherever they have been getting their exercise. And yes, they should be going to church or whatever their place of worship is.
But that would require their businesses, gyms, and churches be open. I have previously outlined procedures by which that could be done safely. But those procedure are mainly for the preceding groups, not this group. But those procedures would enable those in other groups to also frequent these places. But the impetus should be on them protecting themselves.
By that I mean, let those with preexisting conditions wear the masks and socially distance. If someone who is fit and healthy sees someone with a mask or who is trying to keep his or her distance from people, then respect his space. However, don’t treat him like a leper. Be friendly towards him, say “Hi” and wave, but don’t try to shake his hand.
But the authorities have been telling us even the fit and healthy people cannot be allowed to get infected, as if they do, they will go back to their homes and infect their parents and grandparents, who will have serious CV consequences.
However, once again, the most at risk are those in nursing homes. They are or should be isolated from anyone who might be infected. Otherwise, those with preexisting health conditions that make them liable to serious CV consequences know who they are. They are the ones who need to take steps to keep from being infected, as they are the ones who have been ignoring the warnings of health professionals for years about proper diet, exercise, and not smoking. It should not be enjoined upon those who have been following such advice to look out for those who have not been. That simply is unfair and has things backwards.
Now, it is true there are two groups of people who are at risk of serious CV consequences who did not put themselves in that positions. That would be the healthy elderly like my dad and those with asthma and similar non-lifestlye related conditions. But the risk is not near as great as we have been led to believe, as previously noted. The healthy elderly are not the ones dying at a high rate. It is the elderly who are so unhealthy they are in nursing homes that sadly are dying at higher rates than others, but again, they are or should be protected. And asthma is not near of a risk factor as once thought.
Myself as an Example
Let me use myself as an example of what I am trying to say here. As I’ve mentioned before, I suffer with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). As a result, it is very difficult for me to be around people, as people have chemicals on their bodies. The worst is perfume, cologne, and make-up. But also problematic to me are residues of chemical-based soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents, aftershave, hair spray, and the like.
It would make my life much easier if women would just stop using perfume and make-up, men would never use cologne, and everyone would use natural alternatives for the aforementioned products. If that were to happen, I could leave my home and not come home feeling awful for the next day or two, as is the case now.
I need those closest to me to make such changes if I am going to be near them. Thus, yes, the healthy need to take steps to protect those close to you. However, I would not expect people I don’t even know to change their lives to accommodate me. Instead, I changed my life. I set up a home office and home gym, so that I could keep working and working out without leaving my home. On the rare occasions I do leave my home, I do my best to do what is now called social distancing, though I’ve been doing it long before that even became a term. But it is not always possible to do, and even with that, I have just accepted I will feel terrible afterwards.
I use this approach even though I did not do this to myself. There may have been some bad decisions in regard to healthcare that contributed to it, but my MCS was not caused by a lifetime of self-abusive behavior. How much less should those whose health problems are self-caused by a lifetime of ill-eating, lack of exercise, and even smoking should expect everyone around them to change their behaviors to protect them. Let them take some self-responsibility and take steps to protect themselves, just as I have done.
To anticipate an objection to the preceding line of reasoning, someone will quote to me Matthew 19:19, “You will love your neighbor as yourself” (Jesus quoting Leviticus 19:18). They will interpret that verse as saying I should encourage those in the fit and healthy group to express love for even those whose high risk of serious CV consequences is due to their own poor health choices by taking steps to be sure they do not infect them, such as by practicing self-isolation, social distancing, and wearing masks.
To that I will respond that the best way we can show love for those who are unhealthy due to poor lifestyle choices is to encourage them to show some self-responsibility and to take steps to improve their own health. By doing so, they will not only decrease their risk of serious CV consequences but also their risk of a myriad of other health maladies.
As mentioned, I have already been providing that encouragement through my fitness books, my fitness website, and my fitness newsletter. Those sources will provide them all the help and encouragement they should need to take care of themselves. But it is up to them to take the step of accessing those resources and acting upon the information therein.
But if we are going to quote Bible verses, let me quote Galatians 6:2-5:
2Be bearing the burdens of one another, and in this way fill up [fig., obey] the law of Christ. 3For if anyone considers [himself] to be something—being nothing [or, when he is nothing]—he deceives himself. 4But let each [person] be examining his own work, and then he will have with respect to himself alone the [grounds for] boasting and not with respect to the other [person]. 5For each will bear his own load.
Some see a contradiction in this passage between verses two and five. That is especially the case in some versions that translate the Greek words underlying “burdens” and “load” with the same English word, such as the KJV using “burden” in both verses. But they are in fact two different Greek words with slightly different meanings. And the context reveals why there is no contradiction.
Verse two is saying we should bear the burdens of one another when the burdens are such they cannot be borne alone. Verse five is saying we should take self-responsibility and bear our own load when it is possible to do so. The application to what I have just said should be obvious.
Those in nursing homes and others whose high risk of serious CV consequences are not due to their own poor choices need to be looked out for, which is to say, they need others to help bear their burden. But those whose high risk is due to their own lack of self-care need to start carrying their own load by changing their behavior in order to lower their risk of serious CV consequences and other maladies. It is not up to others to look out for them while they are still engaging in their own irresponsible behavior and thus not carrying their own load.
This four-part article is continued at: My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis (Plus Additional Coronavirus Information and an Overview of the Crisis) - Part Three.
A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition
See My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis: References.
My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis (Plus Additional Coronavirus Information and an Overview of the Crisis) Part Two. Copyright © 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Tearing the USA Apart
From Kavanaugh, to Incivility, to Caravans, to Violence, to the 2018 Midterm Elections, and Beyond
The United States of American is being torn about by political differences more than any time since the 1960s and maybe since the Civil War of the 1860s. This division was amplified by political events in the summer to fall of 2018. This time period could prove to be seminal in the history of the United States. This tearing apart came to the forefront and was amplified during the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This book overviews the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings in detail. It then overviews these additional major events that occurred up to the end of November 2018.
The above article was posted on this website May 2, 2020.
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