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Wake Up Call… Lessons from a Pandemic

EVOLV / August 3, 2020

‘In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’ Albert Einstein

Here at EVOLV Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics, we are passionate and committed to patient care and safety, ongoing education for our patients and ourselves, and a focus on achieving optimal and natural-appearing results that improve the quality of life.

This year has been more than exceptionally challenging with the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently has brutally reminded us that there is much more work to be done.  All of us at EVOLV  want to extend our support and empathy to all of those who have suffered the loss of loved ones or endured more aggressive infections as well as those who have and continue to suffer economic hardship from the ongoing pandemic.

We also believe that there is an important life lesson here, and an opportunity to rise up and strengthen our lives, our families, and ourselves.  As Dr. Einstein observed so eloquently, there is an opportunity in the depth of hardship.

AT EVOLV, we have emphasized and believe in the essential importance of practicing a healthy lifestyle which is complementary and fundamental to the products, services, and treatments that we provide.  The statistics from the COVID-19 data emphasize why that maybe even more important than ever.

According to the analysis of U.S. deaths from February and March of 2020, 78 percent of COVID-19 patients requiring admission to a hospital intensive care unit and 94 percent of people who died from COVID-19 in the United States had an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease or cancer.

Before all of us and the world encountered the rapid COVID-19 epidemic, we were facing another, slower but also threatening epidemic:  one of poor metabolic health.  According to recent data from the CDC, approximately 45 percent of adults and 20 percent of children and adolescents are considered obese (which means for adults a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more).  Even more troubling is that these alarming percentages are increasing.  Excess body fat can increase the risk of severe illness and even death from coronavirus infection because significantly increased body fat causes chronic inflammation and insulin resistance, leading to exacerbating conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and many other associated inflammatory illnesses.

It is shocking to consider that nearly half of all U.S. adults now have either diabetes or prediabetes and only 12% are considered metabolically healthy meaning that they do not have high blood sugar, hypertension, high cholesterol, or a large waist.  Those sobering statistics imply that about 88% are therefore more vulnerable to the worst of this virus……and the future pandemics to come.

Clinical research tells us that the number one cause of poor metabolic health is the typical American diet of highly processed foods rich in starch, added sugar and salt rather than the healthier nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, plant oils, and seafood.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, poor diet and inactivity were the largest contributors to preventable deaths and disease globally.  The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized that the human and economic costs of our diet and other lifestyle choices are even greater than we ever realized.  The unhealthy food and lifestyle environment in which we live is further complicated by the fact that unhealthy food choices are cheap, plentiful, and heavily advertised while healthful choices are often more expensive, harder to find, and may have a reputation for being bland or boring.  Within our lives even now busier than ever, putting in the time, planning, and effort to establish and maintain balanced healthy eating patterns, regular exercise, and activity, and stress reduction is more challenging than ever before.

The patterns and threats of the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically revealed that even the best medical technology and treatment cannot protect us from these highly evolved infectious viruses.  Our best protection as individuals against the coronavirus as well as the inevitable future ‘bugs’ that will certainly evolve and threaten all of us remains promoting and practicing an optimally healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating healthy nutrient-rich foods, maintaining a healthy weight and controlling chronic stress.  And that is one of the many reasons why all of us at EVOLV feel so strongly about this concept and will continue to practice and promote these principles for our patients, our families, and friends, and each other.  These are the lessons we have learned for this pandemic and we sincerely hope as many people as possible will learn from this and make the necessary changes to improve their health and quality of life.  

Our mission statement at EVOLV Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics is ‘To inspire and improve the lives, health, and happiness of our patients and each other.’

We sincerely hope all of us can learn from this challenge and seize the opportunity that it provides.  The question now is… will we listen?