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What Have We Learned from COVID-19

In the past several weeks and months there has been a lot going on, or actually, better described as not a lot going on.  We have all been quarantined and searching for things to do or even meaning behind what is going on.  My biggest fear about this whole thing is that many will walk away from this without learning from it.  Out of every tragedy, out of every event, no matter how devastating it is we must learn from it.  If we don’t learn from this we are doomed to repeat it.  

COVID-19 has changed the world and the way we live our lives for the foreseeable future.  After all of this it would be silly to sit back and go on living our lives like we were before.  We have to come out of this with something otherwise the sufferings of so many and sacrifices of our first responders, medical professionals and scientists have been for nothing.  Our first lesson has to start with understanding what COVID-19 is and what it does to the human body.  In real basic terms it presents like pneumonia and causes very serious respiratory issues.  As we sit here several months into this pandemic (arguably it has been going on much longer) we have learned that people with preexisting conditions are much more vulnerable to this than others.  The issue with many of these preexisting conditions is that they are preventable.  For years CrossFit and many others have been preaching that the old adage of “I workout so I can eat what I want” is not sustainable.  The way you live your life and the food that you intake has an extreme effect on your body’s ability to to handle these viruses.  The constant influx of complex carbohydrates in the western diet has brought so many down a road that has made them so vulnerable to these viruses without them even knowing it.  So many people are pre-diabetic due to extremely poor diet and lack of sleep.  Unfortunately people still don’t get the picture.  All it takes is a drive in your car to see how long the line is for McDonalds, Wendys, and other fast food spots- people who don’t understand the danger that they are putting themselves in.  I don’t care how careful you are, at some point in your life you will come in contact with some virus. With a proper diet- one with a measured amount of carbohydrates, protein, and most misunderstood of all, fat you can defend yourself against this diseases.  When a virus does infect your body you will have built up a system that is well equipped to handle what it has to throw at you.  What we are learning is most cancers are preventable, type 2 diabetes is preventable, obesity is preventable.  We just have to be willing to make the sacrifice of eating healthy.  COVID-19 has to teach us that our dietary habits are leading us down a road that will lead to many more deaths.  If we don’t fix our habits, and our children’s habits, now we will only be dealing with many more pandemics in the future.  

The second thing that COVID-19 should be teaching us is the importance of community.  I think most of us, myself included, have taken the community aspect for granted- how much I miss just being at the gym surrounded by the people I most enjoy.  Even if you don’t do CrossFit the idea of being around people is essential for human beings.  We are social creatures.  The gym provides us a place where for one hour we can be ourselves.  We do not have to worry about the kids doing homework, the bills that are piling up at home, or the chore that your significant other failed to get done.  It is the one hour a day that you can just focus on you.  Even if you have a home gym, if does not compare to being at a place pushing yourself with your friends.  The gym provides that and so much more.  Even for someone like me who enjoys working out by myself I still need that push from someone yelling at me to pick up the bar and stop feeling sorry for myself.  We all need that push in life and the gym is one aspect of that.  If I can push myself in the gym, I know I can push myself in everyday life.  I just need that friend to kick me in the butt and tell me to get to work.  As I have stated before, if anything comes out of this time and this pandemic I hope and pray that we don’t take for granted how much a gym and the social aspect of it is needed in our lives.  

COVID-19 has definitely changed most of our lives.  Thankfully most of us will continue to live it like it never happened.  However there are those out there that are forever changed by this experience.  Those who lost loved ones, our medical professionals, and our scientists who have worked around the clock to provide security for the rest of us.  The worst thing the rest of us can do now is to not learn from this experience.  We have to come out of this smarter.  We have to change our diets and put down the fast food.  Stay out of the aisles in the grocery store and out of the drive through.  We can not take for granted the beauty of the social aspects of life.  When we get that hour with our friends, sit back and enjoy it.  We took all of these things for granted before, let us learn from it or we will be doomed to repeat it. 

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