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We are not investing enough for our greatest resource during this pandemic.

(Today's LMWP post is from my colleague Primary Kale Physician, who has a great passion both in health and financial literacy. Enjoy reading his post!)

The coronavirus pandemic has caused unexpected turmoil in almost everyone’s lives this year. There are deaths, sickness, job loss, isolation, financial struggles, and many other problems that almost anyone is dealing with as a result of the pandemic. For any unexpected stress, the natural human reaction is geared toward self-preservation. Preservation of self can encompass many things, including preservation of health, preservation of financial resources, preservation of food supply, and even preservation of personal hygiene.  To preserve health, we wear masks and wash hands often. To preserve (or stretch) our finances, we cut down on spending, refinance our mortgage to lower rates, and to the many of us laid off from work, we sign up for unemployment benefits. To preserve our food supply, we stock-up our shelves with as many non-perishable goods as we can. Who can forget the great hygiene hysteria earlier this year as toilet paper was as valuable as tulips in the 17th century, causing a shortage of supplies in stores everywhere? 

However, we are neglecting the most important resource we need to preserve to make out of this pandemic alive and in good shape…our bodies!  We wear masks and wash our hands to prevent an invisible microbe to gain access to our bodies, but we neglect to guard one of the most common entry points of unwanted substances to our body, namely, our mouth. I don’t mean to imply that we are ingesting poisons that kill us instantly. We are slowly degrading our bodies slowly over time through the poor quality of the foods we eat. Despite the advancement of medical technology, the most common cause of death remains chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. Despite the endless lists of new medications rolling off the shelves, we are nowhere near winning the battle against chronic disease, and our health expenses as a nation are increasing at an alarming rate. The coronavirus pandemic is only putting a spotlight on a long-running problem, killing the most vulnerable and unhealthy of our population. And in terms of the population of the United States, that is a lot of us. 

Poor Analysis is slowly eroding health

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. When it comes to investing, nothing will pay off more than educating yourself. Do the necessary research, study, and analysis before making any investment decisions” 

                                                                                                   - Benjamin Franklin

When people eat, many rarely think of it as an investment. As people go to the grocery store or to their favorite restaurants, they usually think that they are buying or ordering these foods because it tastes good, and they love the feeling when they are eating it. This type of thinking is causing them harm in the long run. Anyone who buys a house because the lawn looks beautiful, and the rooms look good for their taste, but do not do a full inspection of a home prior to purchasing it are in for a world of suffering later on. If they neglect to check if the foundation of the house is unstable or the sewage pipe is leaking, they will have to fork out costly payments to fix these underlying issues when the problems surface, or else their house would become unlivable. It is the same situation when it comes to our bodies. If we eat food just because it tastes good, we neglect if we are taking in components of that food that could cause health issues in the long run. They don’t think of the cholesterol, salt, saturated fat, processed sugar, and fiber content when they eat. Worse, they are blinded by phrases like “fortified with vitamins and minerals”, but fail to see the big picture, if other harmful ingredients are mixed into the foods they eat, and it causes more harm than good. They fail to read food labels in the back of the foods they purchase because they do not know what to look for. As a result, their bodies are left to fend for themselves, to try to fix the harmful effect of the food they ingested. Over the decades, the harmful effects overcome the body’s ability to fix the problem. Chronic diseases then start to plague these people. When they turn to medicine as a solution, they neglect to see that the root cause of the problem, the bad investment they have done to their bodies, is still ongoing, being ingested at least 3 times a day. So despite the latest medications, they continue to be ravaged by the disease of their own doing. Like a house that is a money pit, they continue to pour in finances, but the problem won’t be solved easily. But unlike a bad house, they can’t sell their bodies at a loss and change to another body. They only have one body, and they could suddenly die from a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, or suffer a slow death like cancer because of their bad investment. 

Time to invest in what really matters most

So what is the use of studying blueprints of a house and having a thorough inspection to get a good deal, when the very foundations of their bodies are slowly crumbling because of nutritional neglect? What is the use of getting stimulus checks from the government, when their bodies are not getting the stimulus checks it badly needs, in the form of good, nutritious foods? There is no amount of toilet paper that could wipe off the cholesterol plaques building up in their blood vessels, or cancers building up in their bodies, due to bad food. The coronavirus is just exploiting the vulnerabilities of people, built up by bad food and lifestyle investments through most of their lives, killing or disabling them severely. It is about time people learn to invest in their greatest resource before it is too late. 

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