By Peter A. Fields, MD, DC
As the world is going through an unprecedented pandemic, we should all do what our parents taught us as children. That is, hold your head up high, be proud of yourself, and use good logical thinking before making any decisions.
Yes, this virus is a terrible menace, and sometimes even deadly.
But remember that 80% of the people affected by it will either have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Yes, that still leaves 20%; and, of course, the elderly, infirmed, immune-compromised, and people with other comorbid illnesses should be more diligent. But those same people also need to be concerned about contracting any illness.
Keep in mind, as reported recently, that those younger than 60 years old who died in Italy, had at least one other comorbid illness. Not every one of them, but certainly most. This tells us that younger people will not get a serious disease unless they have a comorbid illness.
It’s also important to consider that the CDC reported that 60,000 people died in the United States from the last flu outbreak. And according to the World Health Organization, over 850,000 people died last year from the effects of the flu. Yes, that’s over three-quarters of a million people.
We have had wars, the Holocaust, HIV, and many other disastrous and fateful things happen to mankind. But one should not be afraid of dying. Eventually, we will all die. No one is here forever! Anything can happen any day. Automobile accidents happen 60,000 times a year in the United States. Then there are illnesses, cancer, and numerous other maladies that can affect us on a daily basis.
The point is that we cannot live our lives in fear.
Living life in fear is not a good thing.
Like Franklin Delano Roosevelt said to the people of the United States after the great depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Fear is not good for the mind, body or soul. As the saying goes, “You should live every day like it’s your last one.”
Enjoy life. Be proud of your accomplishments. Look back on the mistakes you made in life and learn from them. But always look forwards.
My dad always taught me, “You can learn from the past and look to the future, but you can only live for today.”
This does not mean to ignore the precautions that one must take in containing this virus.
But it does mean that you should not become consumed with the fear itself.
We must ask ourselves, “If I was to die today, would I be happy with what I have done with it? Sure, you could have done more, but you’ve done a lot! Take a moment to look back on all your accomplishments and at what you’ve done and where you’ve been.
So again, I remind people that yes, you should wash your hands. You also need to wear your seatbelts, and look both ways when crossing the street, plus other logical and recommended safety precautions.
But don’t fear the fear itself!
You are alive and here on this planet and today is a good day to live your life.
Remember to be intelligently cautious and careful.
~Peter A. Fields, MD, DC, The Athletic Doc®