Medical dramas have been on television for at least a couple of decades now, so lets see if we can put our “who done it” skills to connecting the dots of a possible predictor to Covid19 susceptibility.

Click article excerpt to enlarge

The full set of journal entries can be found here

To the left is the daily journal of a medical doctor working in a US hospital on April 4th during the peak of Covid19 pandemic outbreak crisis. I encourage you to read it through, don’t worry about the medical jargon or the exact medications mentioned, instead simply get the jist of what emergency department doctors and nurses were dealing with, and then focus in on the highlighted sections where one specific patient is described.

Once you’ve read it through a time or two, take a moment and let it settle in… and then think… what body system(s) could be responsible for the behaviour of this patient while medicated to such a degree that the doctor equated it to an angel dust (PCP) overdose, and despite maximal medication to chemically sedate him it was still insufficient and the patient had to be chemically paralyzed.

What body system or systems could trigger such a massive flight-fight-freeze response?

The sympathetic nervous system sensing that the body is threatened, that survival is at stake, and death not being ruled out triggers the endocrine system (i.e. hormonal system/all your glands) into an anaerobic all-out self defense reaction… adrenaline floods the patient elevating heart rate, blood pressure rockets pressurizing the entire musculoskeletal system into attack/defense mode, the patient froths at the mouth, and provides a semi conscious if not unconscious patient the ‘strength of a bull’.

The question is… why would the sympathetic nervous system have its finger so close to the trigger to begin?  Why was this patient so ‘trigger happy’, so ready to pull the fire alarm and set the entire flight-fight-freeze system into a blaze of adrenaline fueled rage of self defense?  This trigger happy state would mean that the patient was already in a triggered or threatened state to begin which would mean that the patient was already physiologically anaerobic aka “living off their glands” before they came into contact with the virus. If that’s the case, then an anaerobic lifestyle could predispose people to Covid19? Hmm…

Evidently the social media sphere set itself ablaze when this tweet went public when an evidently “healthy” man posted a selfee upon admission to the hospital for testing positive for Covid19 and then another selfee upon his discharge.

The masses couldn’t comprehend how someone “healthy” was susceptible to the virus to the point of needing hospitalization, and then were taken aback by the deflation in the CrossFit -esque physique after a few weeks of hospital stay.

Hmm…

Could there be a connection between this fit individual (please do not call him healthy, if he was healthy then he wouldn’t have needed hospitalization for his immune system to fight off the Covid virus) and susceptibility to Covid19?

Looking at the pre- photo, its clear that this individual was already living off his glands as the red & swollen characteristics of his physique are an indication of inflammation, likely chronic as a result of repeated HiiT [hi intensity interval training] which he used to inflate and inflame his muscles – while simultaneously giving him a baby bubble gut like many bodybuilders – as he worked on his fitness.

Looking at the post- photo, the level of inflammation and swelling has clearly come down as even his face is no longer puffy. Plus, he has lost his bubble gut and his musculature is clearly more appropriate for his body weight, hence his cardiac output capacity.

Considering the post photo is when his immune system defeated the Covid19 virus means that the post photo is when this individual was healthier, and definitely healthiest compared to his pre photo… yet how many would say that he looks “healthier” in the post photo? The point exactly, our concept of what is healthy has been so severely skewed (some may even say perverted) that we think inflamed, swollen, red are all signs of health and not diseased as he was in the pre photo as a result of “working on his fitness”.

But is there any additional evidence to suggest that an anaerobic/threatened/triggered state is truly a risk factor, that living off our glands to fuel adherance to hi intensity training and more so hi intensity “all-out”/epic living are predictors of susceptibility? Indeed there is…

The full article can be found here

Interesting… the drug that Lance Armstrong tested positive for during his epic run of 7 wins at the Tour de France is the exact same drug that researchers have found helps attenuate severe progression of Covid 19. Why did Lance Armstrong take EPO? Because EPO stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Having additional red blood cells makes the athlete capable of carrying more oxygen to their muscles which allows them to operate more efficiently… or in Armstrong’s case allowed him to ride stronger, longer and faster than all of his competitors.

But a patient with Covid19 is not in any competition, so why would EPO help?

An aerobic state – the physiological state where the patient or athlete is using oxygen to generate energy – is the opposite of an anaerobic state, the state that hi intensity training (HiiT) and hi intensity all-out epic living create, the state of semi-permanent to permanent inflammation like that of the CrossFit-esque individual who provided his before & after Covid19 photos.

If an anaerobic “ramped on adrenaline” state yields susceptibility to Covid19, well… is it really surprising that pushing the body into the opposite state (i.e. an aerobic state) assists the immune system in combating the disease?

Furthermore, the immune system does not kick into full disease fighting mode until the nervous system releases the pressure on the sympathetic system (i.e. off the flight-fight-freeze reactions) and allows the parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. rest-digest-sleep-heal responses) to kick into full gear. When the sympathetic system is on the body doesnt care about diseases that may or may not kill the person in a day, a few days or a few weeks… the sympathetic nervous system is our emergency response/survival system and it only cares about whats happening right now this instant… its predominantly worried about bleeding to death, hence the reason why blood clotting is elevated when the sympathetic system is on (explaining also the connection between an anaerobic physiological state and heart attacks which are predominantly caused by blood clots, and why 87% of all strokes are due to clots).

So… can we conclude our investigation and declare that we have a potential suspect to our “who done it” mystery? I believe so, and I believe in the coming weeks and months it will become clearer still that a physiological anaerobic state — the state that every spin class, bootcamp, HiiT & Tabata session want you to be in — is a key predictor of Covid19 susceptibility, and more importantly vulnerability to all disease as the anaerobic state effectively shuts off the long term focus of the immune system, focusing it entirely on life perserving measures moment to moment (including beating the shit out of a doctor mistaking their efforts to save your life, as a threat against your life).

So ask yourself this… am I exercising with the intent of shutting off my disease fighting immune response, or am I exercising to strengthen not just my muscles and bones but as importantly if not more importantly to strengthen the disease fighting functions of my immune system? Exercise wrong and you cause disease; exercise correctly and you prevent disease. So the question is… are you working with a trainer or coach who actually knows that there is a difference?

There is a way to be healthy, to live healthy, to train for health, to train to regain health… but it ain’t HiiT or anything that resembles it. Want health… then find a mentor, a coach, a teacher who is educated and experienced in how the body works and can guide you to true health, for sport, for performance, and most of all to avoid disease.  Trainers and coaches who focus on HiiT are only setting you up to fall, and unfortunately it will likely be a costly fall at that.