The Pandemic Behind the COVID Pandemic

By Abby Borkowski

Imagine this: a world where the government guidelines and media focus on sharing how to fix the root problem by incorporating healthy lifestyle behaviors, (e.g. movement, healthy eating, sleep, managing stress, and self-care) to help change the deathly course of COVID to being less severe.

Most COVID-19 deaths are correlated with already having an underlying condition present such as, cancer, heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes, and several more. Specifically, a novel study focusing on the association between metabolic health and COVID-19, found only 12% of the nation are metabolically healthy, leaving 88% of the world metabolically unhealthy and susceptible to diseases mentioned prior. Furthermore, 94% of deaths where a person has died WITH COVID have an average of 2.6 underlying conditions. What does this mean? Our world was hit hard by COVID-19 because being metabolically unhealthy leads to a weakened immune system, giving the virus a head start on us. In other words, our nation was already in a pandemic of obesity and chronic diseases before the novel Corona-virus vivaciously appeared.

However, incorporating healthy behaviors is not the only way to lower the exposure and outcome of COVID. Wearing a mask, handwashing, and social distancing have been proven to lower to risk according to a study regarding the effectiveness of PPE in relation to combating viruses.

In all though, these quick fixes are masking the underlying issue by using a “band aid” approach to heal the situation. Having the government shift its focus to prevention of preexisting diseases by becoming a metabolically healthy nation will lower the death percentage as individuals will already have a healthy immune system before being exposed to COVID.

For a lack of a better metaphor, the nation’s pandemic of preexisting high disease rates loaded the gun, and the COVID pandemic pulled the trigger. Combining healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve the immune system with wearing a mask, as well as socially distancing and hand-washing can help immensely in slowing the spread and narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abby Borkowski is a student in a Media and Democracy class at St. Bonaventure University.


Guan, W. J., Liang, W. H., Zhao, Y., et al., China Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19 (2020). Comorbidity and its impact on 1590 patients with COVID-19 in China: a nationwide analysis. The European respiratory journal, 55(5), 2000547.

Li, S., Cao, Z., Yang, H., Zhang, Y., Xu, F., & Wang, Y. (2021). Metabolic Healthy Obesity, Vitamin D Status, and Risk of COVID-19. Aging and disease, 12(1), 61–71.

Mueller AV, Eden MJ, Oakes JM, et al. Quantitative method for comparative assessment of particle removal efficiency of fabric masks as alternatives to standard surgical masks for PPE (July 2020).

Categories: Jandoli Institute

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