The Herman Trend Alert
April 8, 2020
Life in the Time of COVID
This Herman Trend Alert is the second in our series designed to give you insights to cope, hope for the future, and help for the present. People across the globe are scared. They see the numbers of people infected, hospitalized, and dying growing every day and experience first-hand the bleakness of uncertainty.
We Have Been Here Before
Okay, so not exactly. But during the aftermath of 9/11. We were told to be "scared, very scared." We were told, it was not a matter of "if" there would be another terrorist attack, but "when." It took months for the airlines to resume their service and even longer for our clients to begin scheduling conferences and meetings. The waiting seemed interminable---just as it does today. And for those of you who would disagree, youÕre right! This time we have an invisible enemy more insidious because it prevents us from human contact and maroons us in our homes.
There is Light at the End of this Tunnel
For weeks now, I have been studying the statistics generated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of The University of Washington. Studying IHME's projections and presuming there is no relaxation of the current stay-home directives, in the United States, by the first day of June, we may all be safe to emerge from our home cocoons. By the 19th of June, people stop dying of COVID-19---in the US, anyway. Almost two more months seems like an eternity, but we will adjust. And then, we may all still be fearful about being infected. The danger is that we may be encouraged to return to work before the full threat has passed. Then we would have the second wave situation that Hong Kong is now experiencing.
Staying Home and Wearing Masks (when we are not)
In the absence of a national US directive to keep us all safe, the stay-at-home orders in the major cities are working. Though late in coming in states like Texas and Georgia, these instructions have helped to flatten their state curves as well as the national one. We know that social distancing works. It significantly reduces opportunities for the virus to spread. And since people may be infected, have no symptoms, and unwittingly share the virus with others, wearing masks when you have to leave the house for short times will help reduce the possibility of infection further. Folks in Asia have known the value of mask wearing for years; it is a shame that the USÕ Center for Disease Control has come to this conclusion so late in the game.
Just to reiterate previous advice: choose a mostly plant-based diet (yes, it does make a difference)---the more bioflavonoids (orange, grapefruit, lemon, red, green, yellow peppers), the better; drink black tea; take 200mg of Resveratrol daily (or drink a glass of red wine); and avoid aspirin. Of course, you will also want to stay as fit as possible. (I am in the fourth month of using a nifty app called 30 Day Fitness Challenge.) And now we have something else to add, go to sleep by 10 in the evening (2200, if you are outside of the US). This information comes from a fascinating and complicated explanation about how the immune system works. The bottom line is that Slow Wave Sleep, which we typically get between 10 in the evening (2200) and 1 in the morning, supports the production of growth hormone and that substance promotes the secretion of IL-12 which causes the Antigen Presenting Cells to stimulate the Th-1 Response with CD4 cells---very powerful in building human immunity. Obviously, it makes sense to do everything we can to stay strong.
Connect with your Network
Every day, I reach out to someone I have not spoken with in a while. Not only does it confirm that I care about their welfare, but it is an opportunity to reconnect with folks I have not spoken with in long time---always a good idea in uncertain times. Under no circumstances should you wait until you need people in your network to reach out to them; let them know that you care before you need them.
To view the health statistics for yourself, visit here. Second, there is the 5-minute video on the immune response is in my computer, however, I have not located it on the web; if you want to see it drop me an email at email@example.com. Though complex, it is worth watching.
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