We attended a birthday party at a neighbor’s house over the weekend and the nice weather allowed for an outside event with most people wearing masks when inside the house. I only knew the hosts and none of the other guests. Almost every conversation was about the pandemic and various people had thoughts about “when it will stop”. When asked about my “doctor” opinion, I provided an analogy of the influenza virus: 1- we have a vaccine 2- we have a treatment BUT every year the influenza virus still gets hundreds of thousands of people and kills thousands. So, unfortunately, my opinion is that at some point there will be better control, Covid-19 will never “stop”.
Similar to the flu, I believe that at some point, pretty much every one of us will be exposed to the virus. However, we have all read that the spectrum of illness can be from being entirely asymptomatic to the other end of the spectrum involving severe illness and death. Herd immunity at some point will provide a protection but with viral mutations, there will be future waves of infection/illness.
So, what should be our response? My belief is that everyone should focus on “strengthening” our health and immune systems. We cannot change our ages chronologically but we can impact our “inner age” via risk factor reduction. Obviously, given my occupation, I will focus on weight control first and foremost. With almost every risk factor for severe illness from Covid being linked to poor weight control and the associated co-morbidities, getting that weight to a more optimal level is now more important than ever. Smoking cessation, improved sleep, heightened mood are other interventions that can make the difference between a slight cold or need for a ventilator.
The virus will never “stop” but we can, individually, beat the living s—t out of it with our protective systems and the help of science. Let’s all work on our protective systems.