Chronic Illness, General, Mindset

Why The Most Important Number During The COVID-19 Pandemic Is 100% – 4 Min Read

Without a doubt, we’re living in a unique time in world history since modern medicine was developed. Many of us weren’t thinking that a worldwide pandemic would happen anytime soon, but here we are, quarantined with a stay at home order for a majority of us.

During this time, it is natural to watch the news, and before you know it, we can easily fall into what sounds like a soundtrack on repeat with depressing information overloading our brain. It’s easy to ingest all of the numbers and statistics that are thrown at us and start placing importance on how this may or may not impact us. Today I’m going to talk about the critical number you should live by 100%!!!

On a side note, I took a course from one of the world’s productivity leaders, and he discusses how the news is poison for our brains, and we should limit ourselves to a minimal amount to keep it from hurting our mental health. I’m going to cover this more in a future blog post.

So, why is the most crucial number, 100%,

during this COVID-19 pandemic?

Let me tall you a short story first going into one of my many significant surgeries for Crohn’s disease. My surgeon at the time, Dr. Littlejohn, who was President of the International Colon & Rectal Association for a time, sat me down to discuss in detail what the surgery would include. He told me what he would be doing, how he would be doing it, and some of the concerns I should or shouldn’t have.

It was at this time I started to ask questions since I had already done some research on the surgery I was about to have. Since I like to be completely open, this surgery was going to get reasonably close to my prostate, and one of the numbers that were in my head was the chance of permanent damage, which could impact me sexually for the rest of my life. It wasn’t very high, between 3-6%, but still something Dr. Littlejohn had to prepare me for. At this time, he said something which stuck with me forever, and it was something along the lines of…

Brian, we need to go through all of the percentages. Plus, way the risks before the surgery to prepare for all outcomes. My goal is to make sure that your percentage is NOT 100%. Because if something does happen to YOU, it’s 100% for YOU!

This 100% number has stuck with me since the day he said it. The reality is we don’t know that much about COVID-19 yet, and we don’t know when this pandemic will end or what the world will be like after things calm down. So every time I go out until there is a vaccine, I’m living by the “100% Rule” going forward.

As someone living with multiple chronic illnesses and taking medications that weaken my immune system, I am living under a cloud that 100% number will be hitting me in a few ways.

First, I have to take EVERY precaution possible…100%

We’re not living in a time when I will be lazy or skip any steps that are within my resources to protect myself from COVID-19. If there is something I can do in a safer way, or if there is something I have to say “NO” to doing, that is what will be happening for the foreseeable future.

This virus, which leads to a severe infection, hits those with underlying chronic illnesses harder. And if you fall into the “high risk” category like I do, you have to do everything in your power to reduce your exposure and hopefully avoid getting COVID-19. In my mind, it’s more about delaying this, but I’ll touch on this next.

Second, I will get COVID-19…99.9% (So basically 100%)

I hate to say this and writing it now hurts more, but the reality is this isn’t going away anytime soon. Even when the world opens back up, there will still be genuine risks of exposure and getting sick with the infection.

A good example is gyms around the world are closed, and if you know me, I’m a gym rat when healthy. Do I think it’s a good idea for me to jump right back into the gym before there is a vaccine, NOPE. These are going to be high-risk places for quite a while, but I can’t live in a bubble forever. That is no quality of life at all.

Lastly, I will have to live a somewhat “normal” life…100%

As I mentioned above, we can’t live in a bubble forever. We will have to start to live again at some point, especially when it’s safer. But since this is very much like the flu, a vaccine will only protect you so much. Just like our annual flu shots don’t guarantee we won’t get the flu. A COVID-19 vaccine will likely have zero guarantees, either.

We’ll be living in a new world going forward, and we will all have to learn how to adapt to what’s ahead—especially those of us who are “high risk” patients.

SO what’s the goal…delay getting COVID-19 as long as possible.

Like I said before, I’m under the impression that I will get the infection. And to be honest, I think you should too. The goal should be to limit exposure until the outbreak is under control more, and hospitals are more equipped to handle us as “high risk” patients who will probably exhibit the most severe cases.

If we can delay it long enough, maybe there will be a medication to attack the infection better or keep the symptoms from worsening. This is why I will do everything I can to keep myself from getting COVID-19 until the initial outbreak is over, and everyone will be more prepared.

Until then, I will live by my new “100% rule” and you might want to also.

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