Every day we are bombarded by the amount of deaths and new cases of the virus. We are told to wear our mask, avoid gathering in groups, wash our hands, stay home if we are sick, and the latest one: get tested.But why is our state barely emphasizing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle? Our politicians should be considering the work of individuals and community organizations that work toward educating the public about the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Like most in the fitness industry I am out of work and I have no control over when I can return to doing what I enjoy. Other people may disagree, but I believe that fitness and nutrition are the foundation to prevent chronic illness and disease.

After taking some time to reflect, our society seems to be more invested in preserving the lifestyle that has led us to this pandemic. But here is the hard truth: we were already a virus as a whole.

We numb our flaws and insecurities with self-sabotaging behaviors that lead to heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, and obesity. People buy and consume food that is terrible for our overall nutrition, a majority of individuals live a sedentary lifestyle, and social media controls how we feel.The hysteria of the virus has led most of us to be in a state of fear, loss, and scarcity. In all our minds leading into 2020, we were all doing everything right, and yet everything went wrong. The way I see it, this pandemic was bound to happen.

As human beings we have lost our self-awareness and forgot how the sum of all our negative and ignorant actions can make an impact. We were complacent and took things for granted. We now have this “outrage at everything, I am not to blame” mentality.Root Causes
The true lesson from the pandemic is that we have failed to follow the basics. If we want to move forward and be proactive with our approach to the virus, we should be asking: Why was the standard to care for ourselves mentally and physically set so low in the first place? Why weren’t adults practicing simple hygiene, like washing your hands?

Why was it okay for places of public gathering like airlines, hotels, and cruise ships to not have deep cleanings on a regular basis?

If we are working to prevent the virus, then public health officials should discuss the root causes of a dysfunctional immune system.

Some lifestyle factors that pose a higher risk for illness are chronic stress, lack of sleep, nutrient deficiencies, and physical inactivity. Currently, we have people trapped inside their homes, sitting around, stressing about unemployment, and living in fear from every new story about or related to the pandemic.

Furthermore, the long-term effects of people’s health will end up outweighing the minimal effects that COVID-19 has statistically had throughout the world.It is easy to be swayed by the mainstream media outlets that this virus is more tragic due to the push on people’s moral compasses when speaking of the death toll, but the reality is that being locked down and restricted is going to hurt us more due to obesity, depression, and stress, which have each caused more deaths in comparison.

Most of our current problems can be avoided with common sense and preventative lifestyle measures. Instead of only talking about social distancing to prevent the spread of disease we should be talking about how we can improve our lifestyles to live with and be strong enough to beat the virus.Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Column lengths should be no more than 800 words and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.org. The opinions and information expressed in Community Voices are solely those of the authors and not Civil Beat.

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