Covid-19 is a beast. It is a wild fire in a forest of dry trees. Nobody likes this topic. In fact, when I started this blog I thought this might be a great place to lay out all things health and happiness that may enrich the ordinary into being a pseudo nurse. Then I quickly realized– no one likes hearing about the God awful virus, it’s depressing!
There are some things I’m happy to ignore. In fact I love to be blissfully ignorant. It’s my favorite scapegoat. But there are a couple things I’d like to mention, some items I’d tell my own family and friends. First and foremost, the susceptible. If I had to guess the common denominator between all patients I personally see in the COVID ICU ranging from young to old (with the worst outcomes) I would have to pick obesity. With obesity comes hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes (even prediabetes). There are some that will also be easily susceptible like autoimmune, immunocompromised (cancer), or elderly (who don’t fight infection like the younger population).
You may have noticed certain races with much higher trends in acquiring the virus. Obesity may be part of the reason. Your race definitely will give you a history of what you may face as well. For example, the white population tends to deal with cancer and heart disease. Hispanics tend to have diabetes and obesity. African Americans tend to have renal disease and diabetes. No one is safe from a genetic predisposition. Sorry for the bad news. The problem I feel like we are encountering today is OBESITY being a “comorbidity”. Most think, “I’m not old, or have any issues.” Well, you’re overweight, so yes, that IS a “comorbidity”.
DOES OBESITY CAUSE THE VIRUS?
NO, not at all. But what I am explaining is more of why some people are dying and others have sniffles (besides the fact some may have higher viral loads). When some get hit so hard with an illness, some people have organs that tend to be weaker in the recovery process, which ends up putting them behind and making it complicated. The whole system has to work like a fine-tuned-machine to get over such an awful and weakening virus.
Here’s how we deal. If you get covid, one of the best things to do is lay prone (laying on your belly). This gives your lungs a great opportunity to open without pressure and expand well. When your’e obese you typically have a belly that may cause pressure making it more difficult to breathe (hence the “apple” shape). Second, exercise. When you get the flu, pneumonia, a cold, sometimes there’s a fine balance with rest and exercise. You have to have the will to keep going even when you want to lay down and die. Sometimes you just have to fake being young and thin. I do it all the time! 😂
Exercise encourages those secretions to be mobilized otherwise it can be difficult to recover and as it settles in your lungs. With covid it’s tricky. You’ll get coughing spells where you can’t catch your breath. In this case you have to be careful not to overdo it. Keeping HYDRATED also helps mobilize and rid of a virus fast. Remember mom giving you pedialyte when you got the flu or a cold? Same deal. Make sure you are urinating often and not swelling. Like any virus, this also will need good hydration.
I hope this helped give some insight! I’m ready to go back to the farm. #the whole world over it. Praying for your safety and health!
Lisa, RN, BSN, CCRN