Covid-19 is a new virus (yes, still considered new) that has infected millions of people. Although still new, it's been around for almost a three years, and has continued to permeate in the form of new variants.
On the one hand, the newness, ease of transmissibility and unknown long term effects can make it seem like we're losing control over our health and wellbeing. However, it's important to look at the other side, and empower ourselves with what we can control. That's why Dr. Phil Derkson, Family Health and Wellness Expert, has created a series of podcast episodes about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19 and other viruses, plus steps you can take to strengthen your immune system to fight infections and reduce the chances of getting severely sick.
You can listen to the audio below or see the transcribed text for more details.
Hi, I’m Dr. Derkson, a family medicine doctor in Toronto, Ontario. I have a focus and personal interest in preventative health, improving healthspan, and lifespan. My practice comprises many young families, parents and their children. And in many cases, their extended members, so I often discuss parenting styles and the regular advice on making positive, healthy choices. I believe it is very important to promote healthy habits, starting at a young age. I understand it is not easy. It requires work, effort and most importantly, patience.
I’m also a father of two young boys, Samuel and Jacob. Jugging the day-to-day of parenting and working. Educating and playing, cooking and cleaning. Alongside my lovely wife Jayme, a great mother and partner, we share in all these duties and, of course, the fun and challenges that come with the family unit. As a physician, I put a significant value on health and wellness. And my goal is to educate those around me.
As I practice what I preach and role model for my children, I understand that every family is different. There are many social, environmental and personal factors that play, to name a few. All of them influence our goals, values and decisions. My focus here will be to provide some guidance and recommendations to parents and their families, which are very similar to the discussions that I often have in my own family. I hope to educate and promote healthy behaviour in this format. Do keep in my mind that the following is my personal opinion and does not constitute medical advice; please make sure to follow up with your own health care practitioner before making any significant changes to ensure that these changes are right for you.
Okay, that was a long intro I hope you are still listening and if you are, thank you. Let's start this first series of videos on strong and current the Covid-19 pandemic and how it relates to our own health. Now I know there are a lot of varying opinions and interpretations of the data and the science that is out there in the interweb universe; we need to stay strong and positive. The covid 19 pandemic has brought on a lot of fear and anxiety. Many people are scared, others are angry, and a lack of social connection has been shown to be detrimental to our health.
Many people are walking on eggshells and with this anxious nervous and negative energy we can often see poor decisions, lack of restraint moral indulgences to a few more negatives in this Covid world, this is not a good thing. Especially when we hear about the characteristics of the, at risk of a worse case of a covid group of people. Aside from being elderly, the individuals at risk are often described as overweight, diabetic, and in general poor metabolic health, that can also include people with a compromised immune system. So how do we fix this situation? How do we generally improve our health? What can we do to strengthen our immune system to fight off infections? How do we stop from getting sick?
Well, let's stick to the basics: diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. Let me say that again: diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. Now, this may sound very obvious and, in theory, simple, but in reality, it can be very hard to change a lifestyle or habit and sometimes even harder to maintain a positive one. I will provide tips and tricks along the way to help with this; like I said, there's a lot of information in the interweb universe, but too much of the message is focused on not getting the virus by staying isolated and wearing masks. The prevailing notion is that limiting the spread of this virus will get us through this pandemic along with the administration of the vaccine. I do agree with that, that limiting the spread of the virus is important and that making sure the virus is not spreading like a wildfire all at once is important.
However, to use the analogy of a fire being equivalent to the virus, we also need to make flammable materials that feed such a fire less flammable. We, humans, are host to viruses. We need to make our bodies less inviting to viruses, and currently, that is the Corona Virus. We need to lower our individual risk of medical problems and complications from the Covid-19 disease that's reducing our own internal flammability to continue the fire analogy. We need to lower our children's risk, we need to focus more on our own health, on our children's health, and basically on the factors in our lives that we can control.
Once again, that means putting our focus on diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. I think that it is a shame that this message has not been more publicly voiced. Dont get me wrong, this virus is serious and making some habit changes may seem like small interventions, well then is good it will be easy for you to make positive changes. But seriously, it gets people to move their mindset from one of fear and anxiety, which is a lack of control, to one that is positive and goal-oriented, a mind and a body that is getting back some control.
Okay, that is for now; I know I did not get into many details on diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. You will have to tune in next time for that one, but as a little preview, I will be sticking some common sense pointers and simple activities I do in my daily life to stay on track and don’t forget as parents, we need to set the right example for our children they won't know the right things to do they are still learning and developing it is up to us to teach them.
Stay strong, healthy, and positive!