Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Fitness for One and All

 

Revised Coronavirus Numbers

(Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense)

Part Two

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

This two-part article is continued from Revised Coronavirus Numbers (Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense) - Part One.

 

Risk Factors

 

      Let me be clear, in doing this math based on the assumptions of the authorities, I am not trying to scare you.

      First, note that even one million CV deaths, as terrible as that thought is, would be just 0.3% of the US population. That means, even if that horrific number turns out to be true, there is a 99.7% chance you will not die from the CV.

      Second, no matter the exact number, there is still a risk, and no one wants to die or even suffer serious consequences from a CV infection. With these numbers, I'm trying to encourage you to take steps to lessen your risk of such.

      But first, note that by “serious CV consequences” I mean the symptoms from an CV infection, such as difficulty breathing, are serious enough to put you into the hospital or even lead to your death. This phrase does not refer to more common symptoms, such a cough and fever, which can be home treated, with or without a doctor’s prescription. Those would be “moderate CV consequences.” Then those with little or no symptoms, just a general sense of not feeling well, would be said to have “mild CV consequences.”

      That said, the preceding comparison to heart disease and cancer is appropriate, as all three, CV deaths, heart disease deaths, and cancer deaths, very often have two things in common—all three are more common in the elderly, and all three are most often lifestyle related.

      There is nothing you can do about getting older, but there is much you can do about your risk factors otherwise. The main risk factors for a CV infection causing serious consequences in order of frequency are: increasing age, being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure (hypertension), having high blood sugar (diabetes), having high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) , having heart disease, and having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

      After increasing age, the next four are all related to diet and/ or exercise. Then those four are related to the sixth, as each of these factors are risk factors for heart disease. That means, if you improve the preceding four, you will not only lessen your risk of heart disease but also of serious CV consequences.

      The way to deal with the first is most obvious—lose weight. The best way to do so is to limit your consumption of processed carbohydrates (carbs) and processed oils, as documented in my book Creationist Diet: Second Edition. These two ingredients, processed carbs and processed oils, are in just about all processed foods. More than anything else, an overcompensation of processed foods are the reason two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third obesely so. And that fact in turn is the reason the CV has hit America so hard.

      An overconsumption of processed carbs, along with being overweight, are then major risk factors in leading to someone being diabetic. And an overconsumption of processed foods in general, with their high salt content, along with again being overweight, are the major risk factors for hypertension.

      What all of this means is, if you eliminate processed foods from your diet and replace them with whole natural foods, you will go a long ways towards losing weight, reducing your blood pressure, lowering your blood sugar, and thus reducing your risk of heart disease and serious CV consequences.

      The most important whole natural foods to consume are fruits and vegetables. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in these foods will improve blood pressure and decrease your risk of heart disease. They will also boast your immune system, which will decrease your risk of serious CV consequences.

      Exercise will also help with all of these points. Exercise will make losing weight easier. It will lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, and it will strengthen your heart, all of which will reduce your risk of heart disease and serious CV consequences. Exercise also boasts the immune system, making you less likely to suffer serious CV consequences.

      Though there is some controversy, high blood cholesterol levels are caused by an overconsumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. I know some disagree with this idea, but I detail in my Creationist Diet book why these two points, especially saturated fats consumption, are indeed related to blood cholesterol levels. Lowering your intake of high saturated fatty foods will reduce your blood cholesterol and thus heart diseases and serious CV consequences risk.

      Moving to COPD, the primary cause of it is smoking. Smoking is also the primary cause of lung cancer. Thus, stopping smoking will reduce your risk of both lung cancer and serious CV consequences.

      The cause of other forms of cancer are not so easy to pinpoint. But what is certain is a high consumption of fruits of vegetables will reduce your risk of many forms of cancer. Again, that is due to boasting the immune system. That immune system boast will in turn reduce your risk of serious CV consequences.

      Also involved is stress. Stress can increase blood pressure and heart disease risk. Stress also depresses the immune system, increasing the risk of cancer and of serious CV consequences. The corollary to this is taking steps to reduce stress will decrease your risk of cancer and of serious CV consequences. There are many methods of doing so, though I have found prayer and other spiritual practices, along with exercise, to be the best methods.

      The last factor is adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep boasts the immune system, while inadequate sleep depresses the immune system. If you find yourself needing caffeine to get through the day, then you are probably not getting enough sleep. Rather than double down on the caffeine, it would be much better to get sufficient sleep. If you improve your diet, start to exercise, and engage in stress control practices, that will make for easier and more productive sleep. That then will reduce your need for caffeine. But most of all, it will reduce your risk of cancer and of serious CV consequences.

      You can see how each of these four steps, diet, exercise, stress control, and sleep, are interrelated. And each step and especially all together will reduce your risk of the three biggest killers of Americans: heart disease, cancer, and now the CV.

      Finally, alcohol use, especially excessive alcohol consumption, depresses the immune system. Alcohol might seem to help you to sleep, but in reality, an alcohol-induced sleep is not a sound sleep. That will further weaken your immune system. If you must drink, do so in moderation, through you would be better off not dinking at all. With the stress of this current crisis, it is too easy to overdo it.

 

Mitigation Efforts

 

      Does this all of this mean mitigation efforts are not necessary? That depends on which mitigation efforts you have in mind.

      First off, some mitigation efforts are designed to reduce your risk of being infected by the CV. That is important, as even if you are at lower risk of suffering serious CV consequences, you still could have moderate CV consequences. Those would be equivalent to having a bad case of the flu. Though you will probably recover without hospitalization, it still is not pleasant to be sick for one to two weeks.

      Second, some mitigation efforts are designed not so much to protect you but to protect others, some of whom might be at high risk of serious CV consequences. As such, it is a fulfilling of the Golden Rule (“all things, whatever you* shall be wanting that the people shall be doing to you*, in the same manner also you* be doing to them) or the Second Greatest Commandment (“You will love your neighbor as yourself”) to take precautions to protect others (Matt 7:12; 22:39).

      Third, it must be mentioned, if you follow all of the preceding recommendations, you will greatly reduce your risk of serious CV consequences, but you will not eliminate your risk. In the same way, these steps will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, but they will not eliminate the risk. You can do everything “right” and still suffer serious CV consequences, suffer a heart attack, or contract cancer. Conversely, someone might ignore all of these recommendations, do everything “wrong,” and not suffer any of these maladies. However, statistically, those who follow these steps are much less likely to suffer these problems, while those who ignore them are much more likely to do so. There are always outliers. But those outliers should not dictate your personal habits.

      Fourth, simple personal hygiene habits like washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, not touching your face, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces are helpful not only to reduce your risk of a CV infection but also of contracting the seasonal flu or even the common cold. Just don’t get obsessive about it. And even though if you are healthy, you are likely to recover from being sick, it still is not pleasant to suffer such. Also, if you are sick with any of these infections, then you should self-isolate to protect others from your infection. Again, the Golden Rule and the Second Greatest Commandment apply here.

      Fifth. as for social distancing and wearing masks, these practices while in public will reduce your risk of being infected with the CV, the seasonal flu, or the common cold. And again, they are more designed to protect others than yourself, just in case you are infected but are asymptomatic. As such, if you might be near someone who could experience serious CV consequences, then it would be good to practice these measures.

      As I articulate elsewhere, there is some debate as to if wearing masks really do any good. I think that is still an open question. It probably depends of the type of mask and if you are talking about it protecting the wearer or others. Also, some are making a big deal about wearing or not wearing masks. Personally, I don’t think it is that big of a deal either way. My plan is, I will wear one as long as my area is in the “caution” phase. And I will continue to do so if I am entering a business that requests its customers do so. I just don’t think it is worth fighting over. But it would be good if we could get some good science on how effective they are.

      In addition, Dr. Deborah Birx has said that if you are out of your home, “If you cannot socially distance, wear a mask.” In other words, it is either/ or. You don’t need to wear a mask if you are going to be more than six feet away from other people. You only need to wear one if you are closer than that. As such, it would be good to keep one handy, like in your pocket or car, just in case the situation changes, and you need to wear one.

 

Business Closures and Stay at Home Orders

 

      However, the business closures and the orders for even the healthy to stay at home and to self-isolate are potentially more destructive than the CV. Such orders have always been wrongheaded, for two reasons.

      First off, they do not work at preventing the spread of the CV. That point is detailed in my article Stay at Home Orders and Business Closures Do NOT Work. To add a couple of points heard that I heard since writing that article, a survey found that 47% of women and 22% of men have reported gaining weight since the lockdowns started (NBC). But, as indicted, being overweight is a primary risk factor for serious CV consequences. Thus, the lockdowns have increased the risk of almost half of women and a quarter of men of experiencing serious CV consequences.

      Moreover, adding up ten red (Republican) states and ten blue (Democrat) states, each set of ten with a total of a little over 100 million citizens, the ten red states have had just 9,000 CV deaths, while the ten blue states have had 70,000 CV deaths (Dana). Moreover, “The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live” (New York Times). These statistics are relevant here, as those ten red states and red areas in general tend to have used less severe restrictions and opened up sooner than the ten blue states and blue areas in general.

      I know that is true, as one of the states included in those ten blue states is my state of PA. Our “red phase” utilized severe restrictions statewide. And even now, with most counties such as mine in the “yellow” phase, many businesses are still closed, such as gyms, and gatherings are limited to 25 or fewer. Even once we move to the “green” phase, there will still be some restrictions. There are no plans to fully open up.

      Second, the economic destruction and mental and physical health problems caused by these stay at home and business closure orders override any possible benefit of CV mitigation. Simply put, in these cases, the “cure” is worse than the disease, as I detail elsewhere and will do so more here in a moment. But here, given these problems, these orders should never have been given and should all be immediately rescinded. Businesses should follow the safe practices I detail elsewhere, but they need to reopen now. I have been saying that for weeks, but sadly few have been listening to me.

      Here, at the end of May 2020, finally, all 50 states are easing these restrictions to one degree or another. But I fear the economic destruction they have caused may last far beyond the lifting of these draconian measures, and millions will suffer as a result. Similarly, the mental health problems caused by these measures will also sadly continue long after these restrictions are lifted, especially for those who have lost jobs and businesses permanently.

      To illustrate, on the day the USA passed 100,000 DV deaths, Erin Burnett on CNN had a former coroner on her show. He said that for every 1% increase in unemployment, there is an 1% increase in suicides and a 3% increase in deaths from alcoholism and drug addiction. He then commented on these figures that more people might die from these causes than from the CV. Then the next day, with the jobs report on May 28, 2020, the number of jobs lost since the beginning of this pandemic reached 41 million. That’s one out of four working Americans. That percentage makes these numbers the former coroner cited even more horrific.

      However, I need to give a caveat to this prediction that CNN did not. The prediction is based on what happens when jobs are lost during a normal recession. The coroner even referred to the economic downturn of 2008. But what we are experiencing now is not a normal recession. In a normal recession, lost jobs are slow to come back. But now, as states reopen, we will probably see most of these lost jobs come back rather quickly. It will only be a few months from now when we find out how many of those lost jobs are not coming back that these numbers will become relevant.

      That said; on that same CNN show, it was reported that 80% of the 100,000 deaths occurred in those over 65 years of age, 42% occurred in nursing homes, while just 2.7% occurred in those under 45. Those numbers will be important in a moment.

      But first, due to the lockdown, many have put off basic health screenings, like mammograms and pap smears for women and prostate exams for men, and no one is getting a colonoscopy. As a result, we could see a surge in breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer.

      Some have had cancer treatments or needed transplants delayed, which could lead to tragically unnecessary deaths. Others have put off “elective” surgeries (like knee replacements) and have been suffering needlessly as a result. Parents have delayed basic checkups and vaccinations for their children, putting them at risk.

      Even delayed dental checkups and cleanings could have long-lasting results. I am concerned my delayed dental cleaning could cause my borderline periodontal disease to worsen, leading to tooth loss.

      But most of all, millions who were not in poverty just a few weeks ago now are, and poverty kills in a myriad of ways.

 

      These unintended consequences of missed health care amount to more than 500,000 lost years of life per month, not including all the other known skipped care.

      If we only consider unemployment-related fatalities from the economic shutdown, that would total at least an additional 7,200 lives per month. Assuming these deaths occur proportionally across the ages of current U.S. mortality data, and equally among men and women, this amounts to more than 200,000 lost years of life for each month of the economic shutdown.

      In comparison, COVID-19 fatalities have fallen disproportionately on the elderly, particularly in nursing homes, and those with co-morbidities. Based on the expected remaining lifetimes of these COVID-19 patients, and given that 40 percent of deaths are in nursing homes, the disease has been responsible for 800,000 lost years of life so far.

      Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy, we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month, or about 1.5 million so far — already far surpassing the COVID-19 total (The Hill).

 

      All we can do at this point is hope and pray the current recession is not too steep and long-lasting, that those who are suffering mental health issues recover without too much ado, and those who have delayed basic health screenings and other procedures do not suffer serious difficulties as a result.

      None of these potential problems seemed to have been in the minds of those who instituted these draconian orders in the first place. And it all has to stop now! Businesses, churches, and gyms all need to reopen immediately.

      The loss of basic freedoms and civil liberties and the ignoring of the US Constitution are other serious matters that I address at length elsewhere.

 

Conclusion

 

      As indicated, the purpose of this article is not to scare people but to encourage the reader to do what you should have been doing all along—following healthy habits in regard to diet, exercise, stress control, sleep, and not smoking and not drinking alcohol to excess if at all. If you follow these simple steps, it will go a long way in keeping you from being one of the statistics added to the number of people who suffer serious CV consequences or even die from a CV infection, along with reducing your risk of other maladies, like heart disease and cancer.

      Otherwise, I hope this article shows the reader how the numbers and projections we have been scared with were arrived at and that there are many assumptions behind them, all of which are questionable.

      I also hope and pray our country overcomes this virus in the not too distant future and it recovers quickly from the effects of the unnecessary draconian measures that have been instituted. But I fear neither will be the case, and we will be dealing with the CV and the aftermath of those measures for some time to come.

      Finally, see my books Creationist Diet: Second Edition and God-Given Foods Eating Plan for much greater detail on what constitutes a healthy diet. And for more of my thoughts on the Coronavirus crisis, see my Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries on Biblical and Constitutional Politics. If I didn’t address a CV-related issue in this article that you think is important, most likely, I have already addressed it somewhere on those pages.

 

References:

      Scripture quotes from: Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament: Third Edition. Copyright 1999-2020 Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).

 

Seasonal Flu Numbers and Vaccine:

      CDC. 2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates.

      CDC. Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Do the Flu Vaccines Work?

      CDC. Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season.

      CDC. The Flu Season.

      CNN. Only half of Americans plan to get a flu shot this year. Here’s why that’s a problem.

 

Coronavirus Numbers:

      AP. American virus deaths at 100,000: What does a number mean?

      AP. AP-NORC poll: Half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine.

      Fox News. Coronavirus fatalities in Italy largely among elderly, underlying conditions.

      CNN. Erin Burnett. May 27, 2020.

      Fox News. US coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000 in harrowing milestone.

      Trib Live. As Pennsylvania clarifies coronavirus reporting, health experts call process into question.

      Trib Live. ‘Last responders’ seek to expand postmortem COVID-19 testing in unexplained deaths.

      Trib Live. Pennsylvania’s covid-19 cases ‘trend downward,’ but health official says social distancing still critical.

      World O Meter. Coronavirus. United States.

      World O Meter. Population. United States.

 

Herd Immunity:

      Healthline. What Is Herd Immunity and Could It Help Prevent COVID-19?

      WebMD. What Is Herd Immunity?

 

Causes of Death in the USA:

      Hannity.com. REPORT: Coronavirus Shutdown Will ‘Cost Americans Millions of Years of Life.’

      Hill, The. The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life.

      Medical News Today. What are the leading causes of death in the US?

      Money Nation. 7 Ways Being Poor Can Kill You.

      New York Times. Researchers Link Deaths to Social Ills.

      Soapboxie. Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either of the Top Killers -- Heart Disease or Cancer.

 

Masks:

      Trib Live. Mask fogging your glasses? 10 tips for keeping lenses clear.

      Trib Live. Masks and social distancing work, new analysis finds.

      Trib Live. Study finds mask-wearing prevented tens of thousands of infections.
 

 

Miscellaneous:

      Ben Shapiro podcast. Episode 1015, 5/20/20.

      Dana Loesch radio show. 5/21/20.

      NBC Radio News report on May 20, 2020.

      New York Times. The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live.

      New York Times. ‘Still Catching Up’: Jobless Numbers May Not Tell Full Story.

      Trib Live. 41 million Americans have lost jobs since coronavirus hit, but layoffs slow.

      Trib Live. Area experts weigh chances of catching coronavirus from contaminated objects.

      Trib Live. Cancer, coronavirus are a dangerous mix, new studies find.

      Trib Live. Joe Nocera: Lockdowns haven’t proved they’re worth the havoc.

      Tucker Carlson Show, 5/21/20.

Creationist Diet
Second Edition
A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition

 

Revised Coronavirus Numbers (Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense) - Part One. 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 30, 2020.

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