Located in Sterling, VA (703) 421-1200

A global health crisis much worse than SARS-COV2 is coming. What can you do?

SARS-COV2 has been a tragedy for a small and specific portion of both the global and local population. People at risk include those over 80 years old (80% of SARS-COV2 deaths in my county have been people over 80 years old), people in Nursing Home facilities (almost 2/3 of SARS-COV2 deaths in Virginia) , and of course those with Diabetes, Heart Disease, or other confounding health issues (up to 99% of SARS-COV2 deaths across the globe). For those high-risk categories of people who have died from SARS-COV2, we have failed. Lockdowns did not work. Masks and social distancing were implemented very early in Nursing homes but did nothing to stop the Virus from hitting those populations. The science and public health strategy clearly needs to change and improve significantly. Still, according to CDC's best estimate, 98.7% of SARS-COV2 patients over 65 years old will survive.

On the other hand, we have also failed the younger and healthier population. If you are under age 65 (like 90% of my county population), according to the CDC, your chances of surviving if you contract SARS-COV2 are greater than 99.9%, and you are not very likely to contract SARS-COV2 in the first place: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html. The vast majority of the population are simply not at risk of dying from SARS-COV2. Yet, government mandated quarantines and shutdowns have taken place in many states and countries. Business, schools, churches, and even health care facilities have been prevented from fully operating.

What effect did all these shutdowns have on SARS-COV2? Very little. In fact, those communities, states, and countries which had the strictest quarantine orders actually suffered higher per capita SARS-COV2 deaths (Note: this correlation does not necessarily imply causation). Despite recent massive public protests in places like Minneapolis, SARS-COV2 Hospitalization rates have continued dropped significantly: Minneapolis Hospitalization Rates. Places like Sweden that never locked down and states like Georgia that reopened early have also experienced a drop in hospitalizations and deaths from SARS-COV2. Unnecessary Lockdowns. It seems as if no amount of preventative measures at either end of the spectrum had any effect on the spread and reduction of SARS-COV2 hospitalizations and deaths.

However, the economic, social and healthcare crisis brought about by the forced shutdowns in the U.S. and around the globe will bring suffering and death orders of magnitude above the number of people lost to SARS-COV2. Below are just a few examples:

According to a study at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, there could be an additional 253,000-1,157,000 childhood deaths in low-income and middle-income countries "resulting from the potential disruption of health systems and decreased access to food": https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214109X20302291

According to UNICEF, an additional 130 million people are expected to suffer food insecurity: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214109X2030228X

According to the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 80 million children under 1 are at risk of contracting deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases due to disrupted global vaccination programs for diseases such as polio and measles, which could result in 6000 infant deaths per day.

There is a surge in the United States and Canada in lethal overdoses, attributed in part to the SARS-COV2 lockdowns: https://www.newsday.com/news/health/coronavirus/fatal-drug-overdose-coronavirus-long-island-1.45066205, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/overdose-deaths-bc-1.5607792

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) survey of 115 countries, "more than half (53%) of the countries surveyed have partially or completely disrupted services for hypertension treatment; 49% for treatment for diabetes and diabetes-related complications; 42% for cancer treatment, and 31% for cardiovascular emergencies." https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/01-06-2020-covid-19-significantly-impacts-health-services-for-noncommunicable-diseases

In addition to economic ruin for many, this is a health crisis of epic proportions. Millions of untimely deaths will occur due to disease, starvation, suicide and more. We have not seen this reversal of global health outcomes since World War II.

What can you, as an individual do to fight this global catastrophe in the making? The cat is out of the bag, so to speak. It is going to be a difficult time. What we can do is act locally and every small action we take can improve this terrible situation:

-Be healthy - take every chance to improve your own health. Eat a healthy whole food diet. Sleep 8 hours. Lift weights once or twice per week. Get some Vitamin D through sunshine. Reduce or eliminate junk food and excess alcohol. Stop smoking. Do not become susceptible to SARS-COV2 or other viruses or diseases. Keep your immune system strong so you do not become a health care statistic.

-Donate to local or national charities. Your local food pantries are a great place to start. Over 40 million Americans have lost their jobs, and many are going hungry through no fault of their own. Regardless of your circumstances, there are others nearby who are worse off than you.

-Get healthcare when you need it. Do not delay your Cancer screenings. Up to 300,000 additional cancer deaths could occur due to lack of screenings in the U.S. alone. Get your heart checked. Do not be afraid to go to the doctor or hospital. I have been to Johns Hopkins Cancer Center several times during this pandemic and by all accounts it is running safely and very efficiently.

-Go beyond the media headlines and clickbait. Do your own research on SARS-COV2 and any other health issue. Go directly to the sources of health studies and news (ex. CDC, WHO, Schools of Public Health, individual doctors and scientists, resources like Medlineplus and Pubmed). A good local SARS-COV2 resource for me has been https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ It will be well worth your extra time. At this point, if anyone believes anything they see or hear in any mass media at face value, they are foolish and are part of the problem. Educate yourself and those around you.

The reaction by governments around the globe to the SARS-COV2 pandemic has been a catastrophe. Trillions of monetary units have been printed. Supply chains have collapsed. Millions are going hungry. Previously controlled diseases are resurfacing. Healthcare has been crippled. Countless poor souls will die. Please do your small part to counter this devastation and suffering.

Posted June 12, 2020 by Tim Rankin