Thursday, 29 October 2020 18:49

OPINION: North Carolinians taking care of themselves, despite governor’s attempts to intervene

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A recent study by RunRepeat found America is fat and getting fatter. Government edicts are making things worse for most of us.


We’re already eating food that’s bad for us, and we’re eating bigger portions of it. Too much sugar, too much bad fat. Too little exercise.

So, we’re both fat and lazy. 

Again, not news. It’s an ongoing problem, for myriad reasons. 

The pandemic struck and lockdowns spread, well, like a virus.

Weirdly, the study found, North Carolina had the most people, 35.67%, who managed to lose weight during the pandemic.

Who knows how, because Gov. Roy Cooper immediately closed gyms, along with sundry businesses. Some never reopened. Maybe people lost weight because Cooper closed restaurants and bars. But ABC stores flourished, so that may not be it. Maybe people were afraid of making too many trips to the grocery store, relying, rather, on cooking food already in the house. Maybe people are taking better advantage of the beautiful N.C. weather and our systems of trails and greenways.

Maybe.

But politicians have no interest in keeping us healthy, which should be the goal. Many on the left want to expand health care on the backs of healthy taxpayers. Promoting care and drugs after people get sick, as opposed to promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing disease in the first place.

As our collective body mass increases, so does the risk of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that. Obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection. Obesity is also linked to impaired immune function. Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult. All from the CDC.

Mainstream media? Hello in there.

As for gyms, a study by RunRepeat a couple of months ago found 70% of people surveyed had not returned to their gyms, even if they were, in fact, exercising more. RunRepeat’s latest study, released Monday, Oct. 26, surveyed 19,903 people from 140 countries. It found 35.82% of people gained weight during the pandemic; 71.25% saying they gained five or more pounds.

Overall, the U.S. had the largest percentage of respondents report gaining weight (40.52%), as well as the most who gained more than five pounds (28.69%). The differences in weight gain by state ranged from as low as 29.95% to as high as 41.57%. New York was both the state with the most people report gaining weight overall (41.57%), as well as the state with the highest percentage of people reporting they gained more than five pounds (31.43%). 

“Those that experienced the most weight gain during the pandemic are females, from the United States, and more specifically, New York, New Jersey, California and Texas.  In comparison, those that experienced the most weight loss were males, from the United Kingdom, and from the states North Carolina, Michigan, Maryland, and Illinois,” the study says. 

It’s heartening to see, at least from this relatively small study, that North Carolinians lost weight while many of us struggle mightily under Cooper’s aggressive lockdowns.

Nick Rizzo, fitness research director at RunRepeat, offers a couple of theories as to why that may be. North Carolinians, by nature, embrace freedom and the right to choose. When Cooper closed gyms, Rizzo says, owners and patrons challenged the restrictions, in the news and on social media. At the General Assembly. Gyms opened despite the restrictions, and people still found so-called “workarounds.” 

People understand how important exercise is to one’s well-being. And how harmful these government restrictions have become. To our health and to our livelihoods. Cooper doesn’t seem to care. But North Carolinians do — about their health, about their families, about their businesses.

We must stay safe, of course. But doing so is entirely up to us. Not the governor or his health secretary. Not sheriffs or local police, to whom Cooper is trying to abdicate responsibility toward enforcing his COVID edicts. Cooper wants to punish us, to threaten us. He and his health secretary encourage us to tattle on one another. He takes questions only from reporters complicit in his lockdown strategy.

Maybe there’s hope. Maybe this study shows many people have just stopped listening. 

It’s our state and our lives, governor, they say. It’s up to us to take care of ourselves and our families — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It’s our responsibility, not yours. So, please, put politics aside and try to lead. But mostly, just try to get out of the way.

John Trump is editor of the Carolina Journal.