A Holistic Perspective on Viral Pandemics

By Svetlana Kogan, M.D. Board-Certified Internal
Medicine

As we have been observing the novel coronavirus COVID-19 unravel with trepidation, several important trends emerged.  Number one: Panic kills people. There is a difference between being well-informed versus living in a state of frenzy.

Well informed means listening to White House coronavirus task force and presidential briefings and checking CDC and local government websites. This will provide you with daily tools on how to conduct your life: who should get tested and when, the statuses on schools, vaccine, et cetera. The frenzy begins when you start thinking about this pandemic 24-7, discussing it with your friends and hairstylists, reading  ample  amount of conspiracy theories online, and watching pertinent TV programming non-stop. This creates a vicious thinking cycle.

An average person thinks about 70,000 thoughts in a day, and typically 80% of them are negative to begin with – imagine what happens to this percentage if you allow yourself to dive deep into the crisis mode. From prehistoric times, we have a crisis response system built into our brain. This is called activation of Sympathetic Nervous System in medical lingo and ‘fight or flight’ response in common language. And this was wired into our primitive brain to protect us – from animals in the wilderness in prehistoric times.

And it does exactly what it is supposed to do – It activates the release of cortisol and adrenaline from your adrenal glands, and that:
• mobilizes your body to escape from the predators to keep
you alive. So you get tense and wired.
• Your pupils dilate
• You start breathing faster
• Your hearts starts beating faster.

This system works beautifully – short term. But when you stay in this state for too long – it becomes a disaster. Some of you heard about adrenal fatigue. It’s when the adrenal gland produced too many of these ‘fight or flight’ molecules and is now -wiped out. This is really bad for all of your organs. Chronic activation of ‘fight or flight’ thinking mode leads to diabetes, inflammation, and cancer. And your immune system just shuts down – you start getting sick all the time.

This becomes very relevant when we are talking about strengthening our immune system during the coronavirus pandemic. Obsessing with statistics of the virus and feeling angry or disempowered, breeds perfect grounds for adrenal fatigue, autoimmune condition reactivation and compromising our immune players, such as B-cells and T-cells.

The second holistic observation I would like to make is that coronavirus has served as an important accelerator in our evolution
as spiritual human beings. Instead of feeling disconnected and independent from everyone else, we all of a sudden see the world
through the holistic lenses. We are all in this together. We are totally interdependent. You can think of us as different organs of
the same body that is this planet. Each organ is vital for survival and well-being. What kinds of emotions are associated with
feeling one with everyone else? Love, kindness, compassion to mention a few.

Quarantine has become time of inner reflection for many people, and while some have deepened their existing relationship with G-d, others have discovered new spiritual horizons within themselves, which they never fathomed, existed. In times of crises we better be all hands on deck. We have witnessed this dramatic cooperation between people during World War II and more recently, during 9/11. Even the nastiest characters were suddenly out there giving out doughnuts to overworked policemen and firemen.

Nature is always striving towards balance, and I believe that it will continue to polish us with viruses and natural disasters until
we are as good as a diamond. Until we realize that we are one with Nature, that when our home is not in order – our environment will boomerang this chaos into our face. So, while we are adjusting our economy and infrastructure to the 21st century’s global viral crisis, let’s have enough faith in something higher than ourselves.

Something which from the times of Genesis until today has walked side by side with us, observing us and setting us straight. I believe that this spiritual awareness will help us both mentally and physically to face the invisible enemy with courage and smile for as long as we have to.

720 Fifth Avenue S, Suite 209, Naples Fl 34102 (239)676-6883  www.customlongevity.com

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