If we want coronavirus to stop spreading and killing people, then we need a different definition of social responsibility. Keeping yourself healthy and reducing your risk of getting sick is the most important thing you can do for society’s sake. There are very simple steps to accomplish this, but doctors and the mass media are not talking about those steps. Let me explain. 

My mom told me tonight about two friends of hers who have COVID-19. One is a 93-year-old man who is in the hospital in serious condition. The other is an 87-year-old woman who had symptoms but seems to be doing OK. Why do I mention them? Because they both have been at home, quarantining and isolating…and yet they got sick.

Where did they get it? How did they get it? Are they wrong and perhaps they weren’t as isolated as they thought they were? Is this cause for panic—do we all have to isolate even more…bar the doors and never see the light of the day at all in order to stop the spread? Or perhaps it’s simply that germs sometimes have “magical ways” of spreading, just like cold and flu germs do every year, and that all the masks and social isolation in the world cannot stop germs that want to spread. Germs will germ.

So now what?

A vaccine (or two) is hopefully around the corner, but in the meantime, lockdowns again are being threatened. But as I said in a blog last May, social responsibility is far, far bigger than wearing masks and staying six feet away from each other.

Studies have shown a correlation between COVID-19 and assorted “lifestyle” conditions and diseases—obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease are among the biggest ones. Other studies have shown a connection between daily use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which block stomach acid, and increased risk for COVID-19.

And…there have been significant correlations between deficiencies of zinc and vitamin D and increased risk of getting and dying from COVID. A retrospective study from University of Chicago found that there was nearly twice the risk for COVID among people who are vitamin D–deficient. This is really important given that as much as 50% of the population has vitamin D insufficiency.

The power of vitamin D is so strong that researchers are looking at it as a treatment for COVID. Renowned neurologist and best-selling author David Perlmutter, MD, reported on a 76-person study in Spain in which patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were treated with vitamin D. Of the patients who received vitamin D, 2% required transfer to the intensive care unit. Of those who did not receive vitamin D, 50% went to intensive care…and two of the nontreated patients died.

As for zinc, zinc-deficient patients have been found to be at much higher risk of contracting COVID…and if they contract it, they are much more likely to have a serious case or die from it.

The news is full of doom and gloom and all about the social responsibility of new lockdowns and wearing masks. But I’d like to reclassify the term “social responsibility.” It should be everyone’s social responsibility to do what we can to strengthen our own bodies’ defenses against this illness and others through healthy diet, which will reduce the need for acid suppressants…increased exercise…and supplementing with vitamin D and zinc (assuming your doctor approves). It is infuriating that doctors aren’t recommending these extremely safe and inexpensive preventive measures…and the media isn’t covering them…so the public isn’t being educated properly. Rather, we are simply being made more fearful while being placed at risk for the emotional and physical problems that can be caused by continued isolation.

The healthier you are, the healthier the community.  Our lives may depend on it, and so does our country.

Sarah Hiner, president and CEO of Bottom Line Inc., is passionate about giving people the tools and knowledge they need to be in control of their lives in areas such as living a healthier life, the challenges of the health-care system, commonsense financial advice and creating great relationships. She appears often on national radio and hosts the Bottom Line Advocator Podcast,  where she interviews leading experts to help people be their own best advocates in all areas of life.