Dear Fellow Biohackers,
I write this letter with some mixed emotions. Spring is typically a time for awakening, energy, and renewal. Instead, this year we find ourselves in a time of social distancing, fear of the coronavirus, and anxiety created by economic uncertainty throughout the world. For many, this has caused our amygdala (the fear center of our brain) to go into overdrive.
Despite what’s happening around us, there are reasons to feel encouraged and even grateful. (I would argue that finding peace of mind is even more critical during times of isolation.)
Here are just a few things to be grateful for right now:
- More time with your loved ones at home. It’s safe to say that we are all incredibly busy balancing work, family and self-care. As we navigate how to spend our days for at least the next couple weeks, we can also take advantage of the extra time that has been gifted to us — time that we can appreciate and share with our family members (including pets too!).
- The Internet is awesome. With just a few finger swipes or clicks, you can get access to virtually anything and still stay connected to extended family and friends — even if you can’t physically be near them. (Next time you Skype Grandma, tell her I said hi!)
- In this golden age of digital content, you have the time to actually enjoy it. Okay, this is an extension of the bullet point above, but I really want to emphasize it. There is an abundance of television shows, movies, audio books, e-books, podcasts, games, and YouTube videos available for you online right now. I’m not saying that you should become a couch potato, (you can also do home workouts with guided instructions via various digital programs), but this is a great opportunity to embrace the (extra) time that you have and distract yourself from the news. Why not catch up on a book that you never got to read, or watch a documentary that might challenge your perspective?
- You can be part of the change and make a difference. It is pretty bizarre seeing grocery store shelves completely emptied, schools closed, and the explosion of mass hysteria on social media. Amidst the pessimistic news reports, it’s important to remember: look for the helpers — or become one! This could mean offering to get groceries for an elderly neighbor if they are vulnerable to contracting respiratory illnesses. Or if you have extra food or household items, even a small donation could bring a smile to someone’s face. Thanks to the handy-dandy Internet, it’s also super easy to send money via various apps (which would be especially helpful for those that are currently put out of work during this time of social distancing and quarantines happening all over the world).
I have had a lot of people ask me if they should be worried about contracting the coronavirus. Truthfully, it’s inevitable that many of us (yes, myself included) will become infected at some point in time. But if you’re healthy, your immune system will fight off the infection like it’s supposed to. Think about how a typical cold plays out — there are some people who don’t recover from colds very well because their bodies aren’t as resilient, while others may not even realize that they are sick because their immune system has stepped in to fight off the unhealthy cells within the body.
News reports of coronavirus-induced deaths has fueled the hysteria happening (and the carts full of toilet paper). There is absolutely merit to being aware and proactive about the current public health concern; however, it’s worth looking closely at the data to get a better idea of what the coronavirus landscape really looks like.
According to a recent publication by my good friend, Peter Diamandis, on one of the worst days for Coronavirus in China (February 10, 2020), 108 people died. But on any given day, globally:
- 26,283 people die of cancer;
- 49,041 people die of cardiovascular diseases;
- 4,383 people die of diabetes.
If you’ve read my latest book, Super Human, you’ll remember that Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are the primary four killers for humans worldwide. To put the numbers above into context, the chances of dying from the coronavirus are extremely low.
- Delay getting an infection so that there is more space in hospitals for those that really need it. That means taking social distancing seriously and following the protocols set out by the CDC and WHO.
- Honor our elders and be kind to those who may have a weaker immune system. Think about what you can do to support them during this difficult time — even the simplest of gestures could mean a LOT.
- Focus on becoming more resilient by:
- not smoking
- avoiding alcohol
- not eating sugar or fried foods
- getting adequate sleep
- getting 20-30 minutes of natural sunlight every day (standing by your window or stepping out onto your balcony could help here; if you’re itching to go for a walk or run, opt to go around the block at a safe distance from other people rather than running on the treadmill at your local gym where germs and bacteria could make you more vulnerable to illness)
- maintaining a positive outlook and being gentle with yourself
Ultimately, you can become immune to the coronavirus by getting it, and then getting through it with a resilient immune system!
I know that this is a strange time, and there’s a lot of information swirling out there…but don’t let the hysteria deter you from finding/creating peace of mind. This journey may get a little bumpy before it gets better, but we are all in this together. Let’s make sure that we are all doing what we can to keep our immune systems strong and get through this thing!
In Good Health & Gratitude,