TV RTS - Dr. Katarina Melzer on COVID

17. April 2020

Good to be back on TV RTS (SR) for this timely discussion on the current Covid virus-19!

We all know it: By staying at home, we are protecting the most vulnerable from the potentially deadly consequences of Covid. But often we forget that it is not only the elderly who are most at risk, but also those suffering from chronic conditions.

In fact, already before current pandemic, chronic diseases were primary cause for disability and mortality worldwide. Today, 70% of Americans and 60% of Europeans are overweight or obese. Only in the United States, every second citizen has hypertension; every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes, and every 37 seconds someone dies from cardiovascular disease. Not surprisingly therefore, 9 out of 10 people dying from Covid were suffering from chronic diseases.

These statistics are not only alarming, but also deeply frustrating, given that most chronic conditions could be effectively addressed by nothing else than appropriate eating, exercising and stress-response. Our modern lifestyle – stressful, free from physical exertion, and abundant in food – comes with a high price tag.  Yet, most of us still neglect the proven benefits of lifestyle changes, and are more interested in dubious nutritional doctrines promising overnight success, health and happiness ever after.

So let’s use this moment to pause, think and feel: What is causing our self-destructive behavior? Let’s not neglect or try to escape uncomfortable emotions, for they are our friends and speak in their own language. Now, when the whole world has slowed down and the outside noise has subsided, let’s take the time to listen inside, to acknowledge our feelings, fears and vulnerability, and to ask for help when needed. The best we can do for our loved ones and the world is to take good care of ourselves.

Be safe, be balanced, be free!