Here are five things I learned during the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2021):
- The Coronavirus is real and different from most other viruses we’ve been exposed to in the past. While similar types of viruses have been around in the past (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)), SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) by far has caused the most damage. Still, most people infected with COVID-19 recover well from it; others do not. And others, known as “long haulers,” develop persistent and debilitating symptoms from the virus.
- We have a global health crisis. Up to 90% of patients hospitalized have other health issues. The top co-morbidities associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes include high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. As of March 2021, countries with the highest obesity rate, including the US, have the most deaths from COVID-19. The issue is not only related to obesity but with metabolic dysfunction (mainly metabolic syndrome) combined with obesity.
Metabolic syndrome when at least 3 of the following diagnostic criteria present:
- A waist circumference > 88 cm (35 inches) for women and > 102 cm (40 inches) for men.
- Circulating triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL (or drug treatment to lower triglyceride levels)
- Circulating HDL-C cholesterol below 50 mg/dL for women and 40 mg/dL for men (or drug treatment to elevate HDL-C levels)
- Blood pressure above 130/85 mmHg (or drug treatment to reduce elevated blood pressure)
- Fasting blood glucose above 100 mg/dL (or drug treatment to reduce glycemia). (Scientific Reference)
- Vitamin D is an important vitamin that can be one component of other health practices that reduce infection risk. Once someone has moderate to severe COVID symptoms that would require hospitalization, vitamin D would not help treat moderate to severe symptoms. It is shortsighted and unrealistic to think that one vitamin, whether D or any other, would cure any advanced case of any disease. Proper vitamin D intake, which is dependent on absorbability, skin color (people with darker skin complexion require more D), and body size, should be an essential element of any protocol to reduce disease.
- Connectedness and engagement with people are vital for good health. Throughout the last year, quarantining and minimal access to people has caused a significant increase in depression and suicide amongst adults and kids. Of course, loss of jobs and income is also contributory to mental health problems from the pandemic. Addressing mental health should be the number focus as I fear lingering depression and anxiety for many long after COVID.
- Men do worse from COVID-19 than women. Yes, throughout history, men tend to do worse from all viral infections than females. During COVID-19, men need more intensive care treatment and die more often than women. Testosterone, which men have much higher levels than women, seems to be the main reason, but research is not detailed whether it is related to high or low levels. Regardless, men should do what they can to take better care of their health.
>>> I plan to do a deep dive in men’s health, testosterone and COVID-19 soon for our DrGeo subscribers. If interested, type your email below in the subscriber’s section <<<