In a recent opinion piece for the LaCross Tribune, Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, posed what some vaccine-focused health officials on the COVID-19 front lines might call a radical idea: Why not work on getting healthy to fight COVID-19?
“It’s not an anti-vaccination statement to say, vaccinating Americans will not make Americans healthy,” Edelblut wrote.
He cited studies showing that COVID-19 patients with a range of comorbidities are more at risk for getting COVID-19, having a severe case of it, and even dying.
And most of the comorbidities are diseases directly connected with poor lifestyle choices, beginning with obesity, which he said is “the top health condition contributing to death with a 30 percent higher chance of death.”
Diabetes with complications came with a 26 percent higher chance of death, according to Edelblut, but above that was something less expected.
“Surprisingly, anxiety and fear-related disorders increased the chance of death from COVID-19 by 28 percent. That is the second-highest health condition accompanying death from COVID-19,” he wrote. “The elevated risk of death for those with anxiety and fear-related disorders may be important for policymakers as well as the media.”
The commissioner noted that the media has spent the past 18 months focused on the “risks, dangers, and tragic outcomes of the pandemic, possibly compounding anxiety levels.”
“Little, if any, coverage has focused on the efficacy of making healthy choices as a COVID-19 health strategy,” Edelblut wrote.
Healthy choices could make a substantial difference, however.
“If ever you needed a reason to make a commitment to get healthy, a global pandemic could be just the ticket,” he wrote.
SOURCE: LaCrosse Tribune Sept. 15, 2021