To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate? That is the Question.
The Covid-19 vaccination is not a silver bullet. In fact silver bullet thinking is what is wrong with Americans. Too many people view robust, vigorous health as the natural order of things. Just get out of bed in the morning and expect great health.
But disease or illness comes along and steals the health they are entitled to. So the thinking is, you go to the right doctor, and the doctor has a silver bullet, and bam, you are healthy again. Sometimes it may take a specialist, or just the right doctor, but once you see the right treatment, you are restored to health again. Of course there are lots of diseases out there, so a good doctor has multiple silver bullets, one for each condition that might afflict you.
In this thinking, the patient has little to no responsibility. Health is an entitlement, and doctors defend us from any nasty affliction that might beset us. That is their job. And we expect them to do their job.
This type of thinking is reflected in the old myth we have all heard a million times:
"In traditional Chinese Medicine you only paid the doctor when you were healthy; if you got sick you didn’t pay because the doctor had not done his job which was to keep you healthy. The doctor then treated you for free until you were healthy again."
I am amazed that anybody believes this was ever true. Trust me, there has never been a time in the history of the world when you could be healthy based on what somebody else did. If you want to be healthy, you need to pay the price.
Most of us know what that the price of good health is. Good diet, daily exercise, good sleep, fresh air, sunshine, don't smoke, etc. The doctor can't do any of those things for you. You need to decide what your lifestyle is, and how much you value health.
And Covid-19 has really brought this message home. Healthy people tend to do OK with Covid-19. But obese, sedentary smokers, for example, don't do as well.
And that gets us back to the vaccination question. My plan to beat Covid-19 is the same plan I have for beating everything else. I plan on being healthy. And a health plan is like a chain. Each link is important. Any chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Like a lot of people, I may not be perfect in following my health plan, but I do a lot better than I would do if I had no plan.
Here are the basic links that need to be included in everybody's health plan.
Diet: try to avoid added sugar which impairs the immune system, don't drink pop, really drink nothing but water, shoot for 60+ ounces per day. Eat lots of vegetables. Fish, eggs, meat are all fine, but you should eat more vegetables than meat. Read every label and don't eat corn oil or soybean oil.
Exercise: Adults should get 30-60 minutes of moderate level aerobic exercise at least 5 days per week. That is the equivalent of power walking or better, and there should be some vigorous level exercise in the mix, several times a week, equivalent to jogging.
Sunshine: The sun is good for you, and you should know your Vitamin D level. If it's low, you aren't getting enough sun! It's OK to supplement Vitamin D, but not as a replacement for sun exposure. Vitamin D deficient people have quadruple the risk of dying from covid-19.
Sleep: Good sleep has to be part of your plan. You need 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Turn off the TV and get to bed on time. Most people need a consistent schedule to get good sleep. Bright lights all day, but dim lights all evening as bedtime approaches. You may need to turn off the screens an hour or so before bedtime. Most people know what they need to do to improve their sleep, but if you need help, see a sleep specialist.
Lifestyle: Don't smoke, ditch the coffee and other stimulants, avoid drugs whenever possible. Focus on the good. Include God in your life. Give to others without expectation of return: 10% of your income is the biblical standard. Treat everybody, especially your family, with kindness, respect and love. Have a hobby that does not involve screens.
You need a basic health plan like the above. But some people always ask me:
"Look, I'm not going to do ALL of that. What is the most important thing to focus on?"
My answer is this:
"You're not getting the point. The most important thing is whichever one you aren't doing. The one you aren't doing is your weak link."
Now to answer the vaccine question. You don't do the vaccine in place of a health plan. You add the vaccine to your health plan. The vaccine is not the plan. The vaccine is part of the plan, one link added to your chain.