COVID-19: A light at the end of the tunnel

Today, I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve been seeing here in New York City—the epicenter of this nation’s battle with COVID-19. Because I have to tell you… it has been a pretty good week.

I realize that many of my readers live in places that are much less affected by this pandemic than my hometown. And you, too, may be longing to leave the house again—to go on a relaxing vacation, or even just to eat out at a restaurant. Believe me, I’m ready for it too!

But now more than ever, we must stay the course if we hope to see things return to anything resembling normal anytime soon. So let’s focus on one word in particular: hope. Because there is light at the end of this tunnel—I know, because I’ve seen it firsthand.

The lethal tide is finally turning

I recently went to Mount Sinai hospital, in the very heart of NYC. And what I found was incredibly encouraging. There was no chaos or overcrowding. Just busy medical professionals, doing what we do best—adapting swiftly to whatever situation we find ourselves in.

I was there because they’re looking for volunteers to donate plasma as a potential treatment for COVID-19. So, I had an appointment to get an antibody test. And the doctor who took my blood told me that their trial was going extraordinarily well.

That’s when it struck me that we’d all be wise to look at this pandemic as a series of phases. Phase One was bedlam, as anyone living in New York could attest to. (And sadly, this phase could have been avoided—or at least lessened—had the folks in charge been vigilant when it mattered the most.)

As it went, however, infections spiked… and panic ensued. But now, after months of struggle, it appears as if we’re finally moving toward Phase Two: Where there are far fewer hospitalizations and deaths being reported.

This makes sense—and not just because of our aggressive lockdown measures. Any new virus will take out the most vulnerable first. (And yes, this disease did take the lives of younger people—but I will remind you that younger doesn’t always mean healthier. And there will always be outliers, in any situation.)

Those that remain after these initial waves are more and more likely to experience more manageable, mild to moderate symptoms. Which means that eventually, we’re all going to be able to catch our breath—literally and figuratively—again.

 What else will Phase Two bring? Well, for one thing, it’s going to require that we look at ourselves a little more deeply. That we be thankful for what we have overcome. And that we try not to be angry at what life now looks like.

A long transition ahead

This is going to be a long transition, with many stops and starts—so we should all just make peace with that fact. Granted, it’s hard to prepare for an uncertain future. But you can count on this summer to be unlike any other one you’ve experienced in the past.

And that’s ok. Nothing lasts forever—even the fiercest pandemics eventually end. But we all need to dig deep and exercise great patience in the meantime.

As I said yesterday, I must caution you not to put all your eggs into one basket where a “treatment” is concerned. Any vaccine will take well over a year to develop—and even then, it won’t make everything go back to normal overnight.

Nevertheless, we are moving forward. And a recent pilot study out of NYC delivers a hefty dose of encouragement.

This research randomly tested 3,000 New Yorkers out grocery shopping. Results revealed a 13.9 percent infection rate for the state, and a 21.2 percent infection rate for the city. So when you put these numbers in context, that leaves COVID-19’s actual mortality rate closer to 0.78 percent.

That number is bound to drop as more and more asymptomatic people get tested. And, not to belabor the point, but that would put the overall risk of this virus much closer to the seasonal flu (which runs around 0.2 percent—albeit, still significantly lower) than other deadly coronaviruses, like SARS or MERS. (With mortality rates of 10 percent and 30 percent, respectively.)

We aren’t out of the woods yet. But I assure you, we are well on our way. And if you’re anything like my patients, you’re ready for it. They’re done with the fear and the panic. They’re feeling educated and empowered. And they’re ready to start taking care of their health again.

Even so, the fact remains that we still live in a country full of chronic disease—like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—all of which needs to be addressed with long-term solutions in mind. (And there are safe, drug-free approaches to managing or overcoming these conditions, which I discuss in my various learning protocols—like my Perfect Sleep Protocol and my Ultimate Heart Protection Protocol.)

But we can, and should, start doing our individual parts to ease America down this road to COVID-19 recovery today. And that starts with using this time wisely: Adopt a healthy lifestyle. One that includes good sleep hygiene, a healthy, balanced diet, and moderate, consistent exercise.

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