Humanity in lockdown faces the disease challenge of the century. Medical experts the world over are attempting to manage the Covid crisis by using the tools they know best. From public health measures like masking and social distancing, to the pharmaceutical quest for a preventive vaccine, the emphasis from the medical establishment has been on the external enemy the virus. They work with a model that sees symptoms and external forces as adversaries, the same model that has led to the so-far-unsuccessful wars on cancer, on drugs, on etc.
But what about the internal focus? Louis Pasteur, founder of the germ theory of disease, admitted on his deathbed that the terrain, the body that hosts the germs and viruses, was even more important causally than the external bug itself: The microbe is nothing. The terrain is everything.(Hume, 2011)
So what happens when we look at Covid from the terrain point of view? If the infection is seen as an opportunist, a sign of imbalance, we learn that virus susceptibility depends on many factors: demographic ones like old age and pre-existing medical conditions (Verity, 2020), as well as biologic factors like obesity, a fast-food diet (Hyman, 2020), lungs burdened by air pollution (Conticini, 2020), malnutrition, poverty, and stress.
In this article, well be focusing on the last factor stress but from a novel angle: using exercise to transform Covid-induced stress into empowerment and resilience.