I've got no words desperate or compassionate enough to evoke what I'm feeling right now.
The past few months have been... well, what they have been. Any time in history is unique, but this new era has come with its own unique challenges, cultural shifts, exhausting overstimulation from media, and demand for our own personal discomfort to say the least. I've had my own roller coaster, but nothing near to what many others are experiencing in my community or across the globe. Once again, my deepest condolences to anyone reading this who has suffered greatly at the cost of coronavirus or the ripple effect through our economy, social relationships, health systems, and personal loss.
There is something you can do. You've heard it all before...
Wash your hands.
Avoid unnecessary contact and interactions, and social distance to 6 feet.
Wear a mask when and where mandated.
Stay home when sick.
Follow public health mandates.
Don't spread misinformation.
I offer an extra imperative: Use nutrition and lifestyle changes to do all you can to PREVENT or TREAT chronic conditions like high blood pressure, overweight/obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and preventable cancers to protect yourself from the worst outcomes of COVID-19. And... Encourage your loved ones and friends to do the same!
This, I NEVER see on the news. Not that I have combed through every article and report, but the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on the chronic conditions most likely to cause the worst infection outcomes has not made the headlines as far as I have seen.
I can confidently acclaim that nutritious choices - namely, eating more plant foods like legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds - can so very much positively impact the outcome of your health, especially if you "have a ways to go" to reach healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices. Often, medications are not enough - helpful to a point, but masking the problem and offering a quick "fix" that is not actually a fix. Whether you or a loved one needs to lose or gain weight for health, manage or prevent chronic disease, reduce total body inflammation, address emotional or stress eating, or simply maximize the potential of your diet, THERE IS A SOLUTION!
To be clear, nutritious choices cannot prevent you from contracting or spreading novel coronavirus, or any other flu virus. However, nutrition is one key factor in the management and prevention of the above listed diseases and conditions, and ALL are common. Perhaps you have not seen your doctor in 6 to 9 months and now that you think of it, you suspect that your stress, food habits, lack of exercise, or genetics may put you at risk even for high blood pressure or high blood sugar. If so, consider yourself just as high risk a patient as our beloved elders in care.
Eating better to prevent chronic disease can be so simple with the right guidance and plan ahead of you. Reach out to a Dietitian today - before your extended health benefits expire for the year, but more importantly, before you or a loved one are possibly exposed to this virus and suffer long-term consequences, or worse, short-term severe consequences.
Sending my love, and praying health and inspiration over you as you read this!