Exercise Prevents and Treats it, Medicine Babysits it.
As I am writing this there are 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVD-19, which have resulted in 71k confirmed deaths. This means that roughly 5.5% of confirmed cases result in death.
The CDC states that adults over the age of 65, people with asthma, people with HIV and groups at higher risk for severe illness need to take extra precautions. They list these groups as people with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, heart conditions, conditions that cause individuals to be immunocompromised, severe obesity, diabetes and chronic kidney and liver disease.
According to the CDC, 73% of American’s hospitalized with COVID-19 have at least 1 underlying health condition. The Chinese CDC found that COVID-19 related death rates among patients with heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, high blood pressure and cancer were significantly higher than the nationwide average. Italy’s National Institute of Health found that 99% of deaths related to COVID-19 had at least one preexisting condition.
The director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested that 25% of people who contract the virus remain asymptomatic. This blows my mind. Tens of thousands of people are dying from the EXACT same thing that hundreds of thousands of people have but don’t even show symptoms. How is that possible?
CrossFit HQ posted a video of Coach Greg Glassman talking about not only why this is happening but also how it could have been prevented. According to Coach there are 5 overarching reasons why people die which you can see in the graphic below:
The only one of these that can truly be prevented through our own actions and behaviors is the “chronic” category. CrossFit teaches us how to solve the chronic disease side: “get off the couch and off the carbs” according to Glassman. These chronic conditions are a result of willful decisions, they can be cured by willful decisions, or they will be “medically babysat”.
Everything on the right side happens to us. You get a virus, your parents give you bad genes, you get shot, a snake bites you, etc. None of these are things that we can prevent by our actions (save yourself the time and don’t bother commenting about social distancing…I know). When people die from the things on the right side of the willful divide it is unlikely that there are comorbidities. Meaning if you get a poisonous snake bite you don’t die because you also swallowed a bunch of arsenic. People don’t catch on fire because they get ebola. It is typically one thing.
Here is the issue with what is happening right now: COVID-19 has jumped out of the microbic bucket and found its way into the chronic disease bucket. Remember that 99% of COVID-19 related deaths in Italy had at least one preexisting condition? Glassman claims that they actually averaged almost THREE chronic conditions prior to contracting COVID-19.
If you have preventable chronic conditions and something out of your control happens to you, you are more likely to die. Period. EXERCISE PREVENTS AND FIXES CHRONIC DISEASE; MEDICINE BABYSITS IT (stolen from Glassman).
The entire World is essentially shut down right now. Businesses have been classified as essential and non-essential. Gyms have been considered a non-essential business and I get it. People need to stop touching things and stop spreading the virus and blah blah blah. But why? “Healthy” people are being forced inside and legally required to stay away from the place that has kept them healthy to decrease the spread of the virus to “sick” people who made conscious decisions not to take care of themselves. I know that is very elementary thinking and it isn’t really that simple and there is more to it than that. But at the same time, there isn’t.
The economy is a mess, businesses are permanently closing, unemployment is high, hospitals are overwhelmed, toilet paper is sold out and a Tiger breeding meth head is trending on Netflix. BUT if you have committed to taking care of your health and if you made the willful decisions to get off the couch and off the carbs you have chosen to give yourself the best possible chance of survival during this pandemic.