These are crazy days, right? Schools closing, kids home from college, businesses shuttered, retirement communities in crisis, store shelves stripped of basics. It is the stuff of dystopian science fiction. COVID-19 seems to be wreaking havoc on the world as I write. Our hearts goes out to any and all suffering in the midst of this pandemic.
However, like all crises, there are lessons to learn, conclusions to draw that can help us in the future.
Simply put, while our governments, rightly so, are focused on containing, testing, and quarantining, I find myself reflecting on the work of Esselstyn Foundation.
Lesson #1: Animal Consumption is Problematic
It is likely that COVID-19 was an animal-based influenza that jumped to humans in what are called “wet markets” in Wuhan, China. According to the United Nations, these poorly regulated markets mix the sale of both legal and illegal species. Disease and animal cruelty tend to thrive in these settings. They provide perfect conditions for outbreaks.
In fact, most public health scares involving food are connected to bacterial contamination from animal agriculture. As well, it is critical to remember that SARS, the Swine Flu/H1N1, and AIDS all have similar origin stories in animal agriculture and/or animal markets.
Never before has avoiding animal products seemed like such a right move.
Lesson #2: We All Need to Age Well
As we now know, COVID 19 seems to be especially dangerous for older adults, especially those with weakened immune systems and compromised health situations. 1.5 million adults live in nursing homes in this country, many of them struggling with lifestyle-related