As the dust begins to settle and the world comes out of hiding, there still seems to be mass confusion as to what the hell just happened. There seems to be a contradiction in the information we were presented, and clarity is almost impossible to find for most of the human population. Covid-19 swept up the world from beneath its feet, resulting in the destruction of economies and the thriving nature of humanity. As we begin to breathe the fresh air and feel the sun on our skin again, there seems to be more questions remaining than answers. Like, why did some people who contracted the virus shrug it off as if it was nothing and others suffered immensely resulting in their death? The only logical reason to me seems that some people have healthy immune systems while others do not.
Our world is made of bacteria and viruses. Each day we interact with millions of different bacteria and viruses in our environment which shapes our body’s immune system. When the immune system is healthy it responds to bad bacteria and viruses which attach themselves to the cells within our bodies by killing the virus, preventing the replication of the virus and deploying antibodies to the virus (1). When a person’s immune system is suppressed it struggles to perform these critical functions and the virus spreads throughout our system. To me, this only seems logical that the people who suffered severely from this virus had weakened immune systems at the time of exposure.
Why is it that authorities do not talk about the immune system and its role in protecting us from infection? The focus seems to be more towards social distancing and strict sanitizing protocols which only addresses half the problem. While these protocols should be implemented, it seems the real underlying risk of infection comes from having a weakened immune system. The CDC recently posted statistics stating that nearly 90% of people hospitalized for Covid-19 had underlying health conditions likely resulting in a suppressed immune system (2). These common illnesses such as hypertension, obesity, chronic lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have significant impact on how our immune system functions.
It seems the lifestyle of modern human civilization is wreaking havoc on our bodies to the extent it cannot fight off a simple virus. The work, eat, sleep and repeat mindset of society is finally catching up to us. But are we aware enough to make a change for the better? If focus were on education and advising the population on strategies for staying healthy, would we still have pandemics? Imagine a world where everyone is fit and healthy and free from stress. The threat of a virus would seem miniscule in comparison to the strength of our bodies and immune system.
An Indonesian study which was published found nearly 99% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients were deficient in vitamin D. Yet this fell to 4.1% for infected cases who had enough of the nutrient in their system (3). This simple vitamin obtained from sunlight seems to indicate how our unnatural lifestyles are impacting our immune system. Other unhealthy habits such as eating foods void of vitamins and minerals (usually processed snacks high in sugar) propose high risk to the above metabolic diseases mentioned. It is a shame when people fail to recognize the real risks that their everyday choices of food and lifestyle pose on not only themselves but on others within their community.
So where do we go from here? Are we finally going to realize this modern environment we have created is unhealthy? Do we have enough information to make everyday decisions that will benefit our health rather than deplete it? Is it as simple as eating a healthy natural diet, getting plenty of exercise and sunlight? I know I implement all these strategies obsessively because if you don’t have your health in this life what do you really have?
Let us know what you think in the comments below. We would love to hear your opinion on health and the immune system.
*Please note, I am not a healthcare professional and these are all my personal opinions only. Always seek appropriate medical advice whenever needed.