087 // Covid Reflections 4 Years Later: How has our health changed?

Health with Hashimoto’s is your free weekly podcast to discover true, simple, and sustainable tips to improve your energy and health.

The world changed in March of 2020. In this episode of Covid reflections, we look back at what happened, what stayed the same, how your health has been impacted, and what we can do going forward.

You will find this episode below in audio format and a written summary because I know not everyone is an audio learner. Some links may be affiliate links that will support me without increasing your price.

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A computerized covid virus with text: How did Covid change our health?

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Esther Yunkin, RN speaking to a woman holding a coffee mug. Both seated on a couch.

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COVID Reflections: Navigating Health Amidst Uncertainty

In March of 2020, the world was thrust into a whirlwind with the arrival of COVID-19. It’s hard to think of that time without immediately recalling the impact of the pandemic, isn’t it? Sadly, for many of us, the changes it brought weren’t exactly positive.

As we reflect on the past four years, especially regarding health—well, that’s where our focus lies here at Health with Hashimoto’s. We’re not going to dwell on everything that’s happened; instead, we’re going to learn from it.

Moving Forward with Health Amidst Turbulence

Sure, we can’t change the past, but we can certainly learn from it. We can take the wisdom gained from the experiences of others and apply it to our own lives, setting the stage for a healthier future.

We’re not going to play the victim here. No way. Because staying in that mindset only drags down our health. This podcast is all about lifting you up—mind, body, spirit, diet, environment—all of it matters when it comes to your well-being.

So, let’s not get stuck in the muck of what’s already happened. Let’s look forward, learn, and grow together. Your health journey is important, and I am here to support you every step of the way.

We All Have a Story

Before I delve into our discussion, I want to extend a warm welcome to you, my fellow listeners. My name is Esther, and I wear many hats—I’m a registered nurse, a holistic health educator, and a proud mother of four boys. Oh, and let’s not forget my feathery friends; my backyard is alive with the sounds of chickens, especially those enthusiastic roosters!

Living out in the countryside has its perks, especially when it comes to navigating pandemic restrictions. Unlike many, I didn’t face the same limitations simply because my nearest neighbor is a quarter mile away. But I’m curious—what was your experience like during this tumultuous time?

Reflecting on February 2020, I was teaching English to children in China as a side-gig. After class, I would ask the moms about how they were faring with COVID’s impact. With over 17 years of experience in emergency nursing, I was no stranger to epidemics like SARS-Co-V and the necessary precautions they entail.

The Foundation of Wellness: Prioritizing Health in Uncertain Times

For the preceding 10 winters, I’d take to Facebook or my blog to share education on respiratory health during cold and flu season. Backed by research, I dissected topics like the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, offering practical advice rooted in facts, not just opinions or media hype.

As the pandemic gained traction in the news, I felt compelled to go live on Facebook, sharing actionable steps to safeguard health amidst uncertainty. My mission has always been to empower others with knowledge and truth, cutting through the noise to provide clarity and support.

Back then, none of us could have predicted the storm of censorship looming on the horizon. During that Facebook Live session, I offered straightforward advice: get outdoors, manage stress, amp up your vitamin D intake, and don’t forget about pre and probiotics. Little did I know that such suggestions would become taboo in the years that followed.

I emphasized these points because research had already shown their effectiveness against respiratory viruses. Surprisingly, vitamin D, when optimized, can rival—if not surpass—the influenza vaccine in its protective benefits. But you won’t hear that from mainstream sources, will you? It’s all about pushing the flu shot, not about addressing crucial factors like vitamin D levels.

Similarly, the role of pre and probiotics in bolstering immune health was gaining recognition. Yet, speaking openly about prevention—especially when it comes to natural remedies—is forbidden. Regulations tether our language; the words “prevent, treat, and cure” are reserved only for pharmaceuticals. 

But the research spoke volumes, affirming the efficacy of probiotics in warding off respiratory illnesses. Although I meticulously chose my words during that live session, I never anticipated the looming shadow of censorship. As far as I know, my video remained untouched.

Navigating Health with Stress Management Strategies

Stress was another central theme during that Facebook Live session—and for good reason. When stress levels skyrocket, our bodies become more vulnerable to a myriad of health challenges. Heightened stress triggers inflammation and weakens our defenses, making us susceptible to illness.

As we navigate the challenges of life, particularly in the context of a global pandemic, stress management remains paramount. This is especially true for individuals grappling with autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, where stress reduction is essential for maintaining wellness.

As we reflect on the past four years, I’m certain you have a unique story to share about your journey through these turbulent times. 

Loneliness and Other Challenges

The repercussions of the initial lockdowns were profound, shaping societal dynamics in unexpected ways. While the stated intention was to curb the spread of the virus, the unintended consequences, such as division and loneliness, emerged swiftly.

The division among individuals with differing opinions on the efficacy of various measures became apparent early on. Retrospectively, many acknowledge the adverse effects of prolonged lockdowns, particularly on children’s education and development. The closure of schools disrupted learning trajectories, leading to regression in academic and social skills among students. Moreover, the absence of face-to-face interactions in educational settings hindered crucial aspects of communication and language development, exacerbating speech and reading difficulties.

Additionally, the lockdowns exacerbated issues of abuse and neglect, as vulnerable individuals, especially children, were confined to potentially unsafe environments without the oversight provided by schools and mandatory reporters.

Loneliness emerged as a pervasive issue, recognized as a significant health risk factor with far-reaching consequences. Despite its profound impact, the recognition of loneliness as a health concern was not widely understood until recent years. 

Loneliness can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental well-being, including sleep disturbances, exacerbation of existing health conditions, and heightened systemic inflammation.

Reconnecting and Rebuilding

The importance of community and meaningful social connections cannot be overstated, especially in mitigating the adverse effects of loneliness. While online connections can offer valuable support, cultivating real-life communities is essential for holistic well-being. Unfortunately, the closure of communal spaces such as libraries and places of worship further limited opportunities for social interaction, exacerbating feelings of isolation.

As we navigate the aftermath of the past few years, it’s crucial to prioritize reconnecting with communities and building meaningful relationships. Whether through local gatherings, community events, or joining clubs and groups with shared interests, seeking out opportunities for social connection can help combat loneliness and promote overall well-being.

Another thing COVID did was to spread distrust and disillusionment, particularly concerning the medical establishment. The erosion of trust in medical authorities, once revered as experts and guides in matters of health, has been a significant consequence of the events of the past few years.

Prominent figures within the medical community, renowned for their expertise and insight, found themselves ostracized and marginalized for expressing viewpoints divergent from the government narrative. This censorship and marginalization of dissenting voices contributed to a loss of respect and trust in the medical establishment as a whole.

Navigating Health Amidst Distrust and Disillusionment

One notable example of this erosion of trust was the handling of vaccination recommendations, particularly regarding individuals who had previously contracted COVID-19. Historically, individuals with prior immunity to certain diseases were exempt from vaccination requirements, as their natural immunity was deemed sufficient protection. However, the dismissal of this established principle raised red flags for many, undermining confidence in the medical advice being disseminated.

Furthermore, the atmosphere of divisiveness and intolerance that permeated public discourse exacerbated the erosion of trust. Dissenting voices, backed by scientific evidence, were often met with scorn and ridicule, stifling meaningful dialogue and perpetuating a climate of fear and suspicion.

The implications of this loss of trust extend beyond individual relationships with healthcare providers; they have far-reaching consequences for public health initiatives and collective well-being. Rebuilding trust in the medical establishment will require a concerted effort to foster open dialogue, transparency, and accountability.

Informed & Empowered Healthcare Consumers

Thankfully, one good thing that came out of this distrust is that people are now more involved in their own health plan of care. People are thinking critically about what their providers are saying. People are evaluating their choices and doing what they deem best instead of blindly following the advice of one person.

In the midst of the uncertainty and confusion surrounding COVID-19, it’s understandable if you find yourself questioning the validity of the information I am presenting. However, I assure you that the statements I’ve made are backed by research and facts, not sensationalism or media hype. Maintaining a commitment to truth was paramount.

Navigating Health with Timeless Principles

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, certain truths have endured. For instance, the importance of vitamin D in bolstering immune function remains a cornerstone of preventive health measures. Additionally, the role of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier produced by the body, cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that adequate levels of glutathione can confer significant benefits, including antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anticoagulant properties.

Increasing your glutathione levels can be achieved through various means, such as consuming glutathione-boosting foods like broccoli sprouts or incorporating herbs known to enhance glutathione production. While supplemental glutathione may not be readily absorbed by the body, strategies to support endogenous glutathione synthesis (like using Protandim nrf2 Synthesizer) can be highly effective.

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have reshaped the landscape of our world, the foundational principles of health remain steadfast and applicable. It’s essential to prioritize strategies that promote well-being and resilience, regardless of external circumstances.

Remember to prioritize sleep and reduce stress levels, as quality rest is essential for overall health. Incorporate regular movement into your daily routine and focus on consuming real, nutrient-rich foods, while minimizing processed foods. Additionally, spending time outdoors and soaking up sunlight can support optimal vitamin D levels, crucial for immune function and overall health.

These foundational principles are timeless and remain as relevant today as they were before the pandemic. I encourage you to take action today to enhance your well-being and vitality.

Building a Healthier Future Together

If you’re seeking community support on your health journey, I invite you to join our growing community on the Health with Hashimoto’s app. While the app is still in its early stages, you can find instructions to join in the show notes. Let’s come together to support and uplift one another as we strive for lasting wellness.

Images used in this Covid Reflections post by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

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A computerized covid virus with text: How did Covid change our health?Covid reflections.
A computerized covid virus with text: How did Covid change our health?Covid reflections.