It’s possible that 1 million or more people will die from COVID-19 in 2020. This number is hard to imagine, it’s unfathomable, and it’s tragic.

Now imagine 40 Million+. That’s the number that will die in 2020 of non-communicable, lifestyle-related conditions worldwide (most in the developed or developing world). And this number is going up every year.

Autoimmunity, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, heart disease, depression, addiction, suicide – can be mitigated if not mostly out-rightly prevented.

We rarely develop these diseases because of solely the way we are born – we develop them because our environment and our reciprocal interactions with this environment cause us to unintentionally kill ourselves, slowly, every day.

This happens because we catch a virus, and it’s not a coronavirus – its a mind-virus, and we have no vaccine. Our brain changes and becomes addicted (through mechanisms of maladaptive neuroplasticity) to short-term, immediate gratification. We reach for dopamine, and we avoid discomfort. Screens, sugar, processed artificial ingredients, cigarettes, alcohol, inactivity, and isolation are built into our lives, drilled into our brains, and sometimes forced upon us. The contagion tracks our behavior and invades our privacy – unconsciously spreading to us in the estimated 4,000 – 10,000 ads we are exposed to each day.

The secondary, down-stream effects are real. Overloaded international healthcare systems on the brink of financial failure and yes even the death-toll from COVID-19 itself. Last month the CDC estimated that 90% of COVID-19 hospitalizations we’re associated with co-morbid chronic health conditions.

COVID-19 has only magnified the mind-virus and uncovered the systemic problems of modern society. In some ways, we’re all infected and it’s part of being human – yet it seems to have gone too far, way too far.

I honestly wake up every morning, and I long for a treatment and eventual vaccine for the mind-virus. And I assure you the best immunologists and biochemists wouldn’t know where to start.

The solution needs to come from all of us.

I believe perhaps we need to first inspire hope in those that are suffering – because they can feel the pain of the virus – and are most likely to be receptive to our interventions. We need to start small with a revolutionary group of people to show the world what’s possible.

I have good news: the mind-virus is not always fatal, in-fact usually it’s a slow burn. The human body can heal in robust ways and if you’re infected you can change.

I don’t pretend to have the answers but I believe we must work together to build the healing centers, programs, and contexts to allow for this change to stick. We need to change our environment, we need to change our brain and our mind, and we need to change our priorities and the mass consciousness that has allowed the virus to spread unchecked.

Only then will we develop a working treatment. Only then will we develop a “vaccine.” Only then will we develop immunity.

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