COVID-19 – When should we return to normal?

Image source: Unsplash – Edwin Hooper
  1. Emotional stress – please show me someone who doesn’t have this!
  2. Mental stress – you’re under the pump at work with enormous pressure and this is often the setting for an acute vascular event. A long-term trial performed in the UK known as the Whitehall study looked at 17,000 British civil servants over 20 years and showed those workers who suffered job strain (which is high demand, low control) i.e. the middle managers, not the bosses, were those most likely to suffer acute vascular disease.
  3. Physical stress – regular exercise, in my view, is the second best drug on the planet after happiness. I suggest we perform 3 to 5 hours of moderate exercise on a weekly basis. But as physical stress, I’m referring to the fat guy who doesn’t exercise who has to run for the bus or people who perform exercise over and above their capacity are the ones at risk for the precipitation of an acute event. Those people who climb Mount Everest are not putting themselves at risk just because of the heavy climb but also because of the freezing cold temperatures and low oxygen levels. But, it may also be the physical stress of an operation or chronic pain which may also precipitate an acute vascular event.
  4. Pharmacologic stress – legal or illegal stimulants may precipitate acute vascular problems.
  5. Infective stress – any infections, as mentioned above, may precipitate an acute vascular problem. Thus, when a person dies from the complications of COVID-19, in the vast majority of cases, I would see this more as a precipitating event rather than the cause of their death. As mentioned above, any infective organism can deteriorate an underlying condition and it is clearly sick, elderly people with comorbid conditions that are at much greater risk for serious complications and death from the COVID-19 Pandemic. But, should we really be calling this a COVID-19 death rather than blaming the underlying condition?



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Dr Ross Walker

Dr Ross Walker


Dr Walker is an expert in the field of preventative cardiology and has published seven books. He gives lectures nationally and internationally.