Let's talk about how we can do our part, not only for ourselves, but for our families, our friends, our communities and the world. I don't need to go into what crazy times these are. We are getting enough of that every time we turn on an electronic device. I want to talk about why preventive health will be the lifeline of the world going forward. You ask anyone in the world right now what they wish they would have done before the outbreak of COVID-19? PREPARE BETTER. None of us had a clue only a month ago what we are facing right now. The world has turned upside down. But we are here, right now, and this is the time to address THE MOST IMPORTANT THING in this crisis - HOW TO KEEP OURSELVES HEALTHY.
As a preventive health doctor I'm telling you right now health is more than just physically distancing yourself. Your ability to take care of yourself means that you are allowing the professionals to help people that need it most. Our society has become pretty soft. Let's face it. We haven't had a crisis of this rank in most of our lifetimes. Very few of us have witnessed this degree of sickness and stress. Our bodies, minds and spirits have not had to endure what we are facing in the world now, not just in sickness but economic stress and not knowing what is yet to come.
Sitting with all of this is powerful. The grace lies in how we choose to deal with it. So let's talk about what we can do, not what is out of our control.
Number one - There's a whole new irony to the line "putting your mask on first". PLEASE take the precautions that we have heard over and over again. It is IMPERATIVE that we choose to follow the guidelines set in place, not only for ourselves but for the world as a whole.
Number two - If this pandemic teaches us anything - now is the time to address your health. Whether you are "perfectly healthy" or you have a host of chronic issues, now is the time to address it. We all have the ability to become more healthy. We all have habits that may or may not be affecting us directly right now but we are building up dis-ease in the body and subjecting ourselves to damage in the future. The new paradigm in healthcare is going to be REAL preventive health. Real preventive health will not just focus on screenings and annual exams. It will take on the role of the most important healthcare you can have. We need to build healthcare focused on preventing disease, not responding to it. The too little too late mentality right now is showing us just how susceptible we are. We are at the mercy of an overrun, non efficient system that is collapsing. This is the epitome of what corporate healthcare has capitalized on - a whole lot of sick people wandering around taking prescription medications that may or may not be helping by allowing us to make the same terrible choices and assuming a different outcome. Let's face it - diet and lifestyle changes are much harder than taking a pill. Taking a pill eases the symptoms in the short run but does not address the bigger picture. In today's world, I think we are seeing this message loud and clear. It's not just important, it's essential.
Number three - Resilience. I think that word sums up what our new healthcare paradigm will consist of. Hospitals and medical systems will become the place you go when all else is exhausted. We have a society that freaks out at the first sign of physical discomfort and demands somebody else fix it. Where do we get the idea that we can't help ourselves? I'm surprised how many people have little to no idea how to actually take care of themselves, whether in sickness or in health. Do you want to go stand in line at a hospital right now if you have a sore throat with a few hundred other sick people just to see if they have something to make it better?! Please, let's learn how to take care of ourselves better. For eons we have had to rely on ourselves and our communities to care for each other. We need a decentralized health system that focuses on preventive measures that bolsters our immune system with diet and lifestyle choices that give us the best chance we have to live healthy and happy lives. The more we decide that our health is a personal responsibility and good healthcare is a right, not a privilege, we will be able to withstand the many things that life can throw at us. That means we must do our part - our choices affect our outcomes.
I have been accused of being too direct, blunt if you will. It's my duty as a doctor to be honest with you. Your health is your biggest asset. The opportunity to feel good is directly correlated to the choices you make, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Every experience you have, every word you speak, every sound you hear, every aroma you inhale, they all have a direct impact on your health. If you're spending your days glued to the TV, day drinking while scrolling Facebook, then I can safely assume there are a host of things you could be doing to improve your health. This is an extraordinary time to be reevaluating goals, relationships, and habits that aren't serving you in health. Take it for what it's worth. Let's make the most of this opportunity and not continue to squander our health like it's someone else's job to fix you. There are two beautiful truths about the human condition. One - the heart and the mind are inextricably connected. Make sure they are lining up together. Two, you are the most powerful tool in your own health and wellness. Please act accordingly.
Much love and stay healthy,