Written by David Sauro
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Quickly, millions of people world-wide, were directed to stay home. What was thought to be for only a few weeks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, has become over a year and going, having tremendous impact everywhere.
One year later, in the United States, more than 500,000 people have died from the coronavirus. In addition, the nation has had racial injustice, an unpleasant election process, civil unrest, along with damaging storms from Mother Nature and fires that destroyed thousands of homes. The year 2020 has been one for the books.
The pandemic has revealed the disturbing overall health of many Americans. “There are several reasons this country, one of the world’s richest and most highly developed, has suffered much higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths than many poorer and less well-equipped populations. Seventy percent of American adults are now overweight. Two of the major risks of COVID-19, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, are most often the result of excess weight, which reflects unhealthy lifestyle choices,” says Jane Brody of the New York Times.
The pandemic has made the overweight issue worse, as a Harris Poll, conducted by the American Psychological Association in late February, showed. It revealed that 42% of the respondents gained an average of 29 “pandemic pounds.” In addition, the following has happened, which adds to the unhealthiness of this country: Smoking rates have rose, adding another risk to COVID-19 susceptibility. There has been an increase in alcohol beverage sales. During one week in March 2020 sales across the nation were 54% higher than the same week in 2019. The same Harris Poll found that nearly one in every four adults drank more alcohol than usual to cope with the pandemic-related stress. Covid-19 itself has caused sickness and death to many and has raised the level of stress in almost every person. In turn, this higher level of stress has caused many to turn to un-healthy lifestyle choices, which then compromises one’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to catching the virus.
What this pandemic has brought to light is that many Americans have serious health issues. What is needed now, more than ever, is a national campaign to help all Americans get healthier. In addition to the vaccine, Americans need to start making better life-style choices so that not only can this country end the COVID-19 pandemic, but also cut back on all the problems and issues that are the result of poor life-style choices. We have to take a stand on the health of our nation. Together we can! One small change at a time to become “A healthier me, a healthier we!
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The content shared from HOW (Heart of Wellness) is for informational purposes only and is not intended nor should it be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult with your doctor if any questions. HOW is a non-profit based in Centerville, MA that specializes in mindful wellness and self-care programs along with professional development for schools, business, and communities.