Listen to my latest podcast episode:

801: 10 Fitness Secrets Every Busy Parent Needs to Know

TMHS 405: Global Pandemic, The Human Virome, & Thriving During Chaos

The coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly a devastating outbreak that has disrupted our society in a widespread manner. Hospitals are overburdened, economies are crashing, and our modern society has been forever impacted. According to the CDC, the United States is amid the acceleration phase of the pandemic. But our country has been in a health epidemic for much longer than the lifespan of this virus.

Today we’re going to explore what viruses are, how they work, and how we can best protect our bodies from becoming infected. On a bigger picture, you’re going to learn about optimizing and fortifying your immune system year-round, and how to proactively create a community centered on health and wellness. 

I hope to start a conversation that is centered on facts, rationale, and the empowerment that exists when you take care of your body and your community. As always, I wish health and safety for you and your loved ones. I hope this episode inspires you to support and improve your health not only today, but for your entire life. 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • What percentage of the human genome is comprised of endogenous viruses.
  • The link between viruses and their hosts. 
  • How bacteria and viruses differ in size. 
  • Why viruses are medically treated differently than bacteria. 
  • What COVID-19 actually is. 
  • How viruses mutate and adapt. 
  • The problem with naming viruses after places or animals. 
  • How the human immune system works to fight invaders.
  • What humoral immunity is. 
  • Why social distancing protects our medical system.
  • The link between chronic illnesses and coronavirus fatalities. 
  • How fear and worry negatively impact our behavior and body chemistry.
  • What the nocebo effect is, and how it works.  
  • 4 practical things you can do to fortify your immune system.
  • Why walking is beneficial for immune function.
  • What cytokines are, and their relation to sleep.


Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. These are strange, strange times that we are living in right now and I'm really excited about this episode because I thought I'd jump on here, do a special episode to make some sense of everything that's going on right now in the world and right now, a lot of stuff is shut down. It's quarantine. My studio, the building that my recording studio is in is actually closed and all the businesses that are there is closed so we're doing this guerrilla style.

We're at my home right now and the audio quality might be a little bit different. We don't know what's going to happen. My kids might run through here, Nerf gun... I don't know what might happen. We're prepared for anything. We're going to keep it all in. We're going to have a good time but I really want to jump on here and to create a special episode for you because I've been receiving a lot of questions and again, just to try to make some sense of everything because a big driver of fear, we tend to fear the things that we don't understand and so I think that you're going to walk away very, very empowered and really developing a state of remarkable awareness of how viruses work, about some of the intricacies of viruses and just information that we can utilize moving forward, not just as individuals but as communities and even the world as a whole.

This information today can truly be transformative so I'm really pumped to dive in and if you're watching this on YouTube, you can see I'm rocking full quarantine beard right now, alright? My wife, I'm not going to say she likes it but that's okay. Shout out to the other guys out there that have the quarantine beards going. Shout out to the ladies that have quarantine eyebrows. You're just like you're trying to get out and get those eyebrows together because they're probably uneven, eyelashes as well. Getting the nails done might not be happening right now but we still love you. You're still beautiful, alright?

We're all making adjustments. My kids are obviously out of school. My son Braden, all of a sudden not only am I an author and a nutritionist, I'm also a second grade teacher, all of a sudden and just working through all of that and I just want to ask you, how are you doing? And those that have kids, if you don't have kids, just being kind of locked down with your little ones or even with yourself, with your pets, we might think that we love people but we can start to see that they can work our nerves a little bit probably and that's okay. We're going to go through a wide range of emotions, this is very different for all of us but my son Braden, we had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him, to hang out and we're actually doing work outside of work, outside of his typical school work which is great.

We're actually working on his first book that he's writing and it's just been a great adventure that we've been doing, working on that every day, having some little writing project and having fun together like that and also we've had time to go through some of the classic movies. We watched The Goonies, Back to the Future, game changer, alright? Back to the Future II.

Now, in that movie, they jumped 30 years in the future to 2015. We knew back in the day, 30 years prior to that, that we would definitely have flying cars by then. Instead, we have toilet paper apocalypse. Very different situation that we're dealing with today but we're going to go through all of this stuff and have a good time and talk about what we're really dealing with and I think the most important thing to do is to start at the foundation of human health and our interaction with viruses.

Now there's been a lot of talk in medicine and just in health in general, the last few years looking at the final frontier of medicine really being the microbiome. You can't go anywhere and study anything to do with health without really hearing about the impact of the microbiome. Now, we know that our microbiome cascade, this bacteria cascade that lives in and on our bodies, we have upwards of 40 trillion bacteria cells, all of us do and they have a huge impact on our ability to absorb calories, making vitamins and minerals in us, for us. Giving us the ability to digest our food, operating and interacting and forming our immune system and the list goes on and on and on. It's a really remarkable thing and it's truly... It is kind of the final frontier.

Now, that's just one aspect because much like we have this bacterial cascade with the microbiome, we also have something called the human virome. We all have a unique collection of viruses that live in us and on us at all times throughout our entire lives. Viruses are not just one thing that make us sick. They're also something that make us who we are and that's something that is widely left out of the conversation right now and so I want to dive in a little bit on this to help lay the foundation for our interaction with viruses and I think that some of this is really, really going to surprise you.

Now recently, we had the Human Genome Project where they were looking at uncovering and disclosing how many genes we have collectively as human beings and something that is widely skipped over is the fact that... Now listen to this; of the entire human genome, the genes that literally make us who we are as humans, approximately 8% of the human genome are made of endogenous viruses. We are at least 8% endogenous retroviruses that make up who we are as humans. Crazy stuff. You don't ever hear anything like that. You didn't know I'm part virus. You might be biracial, you're like "I'm part black, I'm part Hispanic and I'm part virus." You never say "I'm part virus." But you are, you are.

Now viruses are not just things that make us sick, these are ancient little helpers that have supported human evolution. In fact, we would not be who we are today without viruses. Now many scientists today actually believe that its thanks in large part to viruses and the action of viruses that we have evolved the DNA that we have today. In this particular model, this theory about viruses helping to establish our DNA, cellular organisms adopted the more chemically stable DNA when retroviruses evolved to create DNA from RNA templates.

Viruses are able to do some really interesting things with genetic information, with DNA, with RNA that other cells aren't able to do. In fact, human cells often aren't able to do and to go in different directions in this process and so not just that, that's just a small bit. We've already talked about the fact that 8% of the human genome are endogenous retroviruses. We've talked about viruses potentially being a large player in the DNA that we now have today but to take this a step further and what's kind of pertinent for right now, is the fact that recent data shows that our cellular immune systems originate from and are spread by viruses.

Data published in the peer review journal Frontiers in Microbiology-Virology, indicates that our immune systems likely evolved from simple viruses adapting against other viruses to eventually creating the highly complex defense strategies that our bodies have today. The human body and the human immune system is the most dynamic, complex, amazing entity on planet earth. It is truly, truly remarkable.

Today, we're just scratching the surface on how deep this goes and again, I just want to highlight the fact that there's this whole other side to the story. It's not just viruses make us sick. I wanted to take some time and to create a well thought out middle ground to understand some of this stuff because there's this whole other side of the equation in our interaction with viruses to again, to bring some light and shed some light to this subject in a kind of confusing and dark time... And oftentimes again, we fear what we don't understand. And so I wanted to again, help to shed some light on this subject so really excited about this.

The next layer that I think we need to talk about is how bacteria and viruses help to create the human species that we are today and it's widely accepted that the mitochondria that we have in all of our cells, some cells have dozens, if not hundreds of mitochondria that create the energy that we experience and so the energy to move my hands, the energy to blink your eyes, the energy to take the sound that you're hearing and to process that into data in your brain, the energy needed to take a breath to keep your heart beating so on and so forth, everything that your body does requires energy and it's thanks to the mitochondria creating that energy that we're able to exist and it's widely said that our mitochondria actually evolved from bacteria, alright?

This interaction with bacteria and eventually, human cells helped to create this mitochondria, this energy power plant within ourselves that create energy in us for us, that's how powerful that is.

Now, viruses as we talked about, in much the same regards, helped to evolve our DNA and helped to evolve our immune systems springing from the interaction with viruses and now let's talk a little bit about viruses versus bacteria. Sometimes we don't even think that these are two different things, kind of lump them all together but they are very different.

One of the differences is that, bacteria specifically, they are able to replicate on their own. They have little bacteria babies, they have... By the way, with the quarantine going on there's going to be a lot of quarantine babies. I don't know if anybody's been thinking about that. You're locked down with your loved one, your lover, just like around Christmas time and you get a lot of babies showing up in August, late August like myself, its Christmas gift "Hey, I got a gift for you. Surprise, you're pregnant." But quarantine babies, mark my word bottom line nine months from now, you're going to see a baby boom happen.

But anyways bacteria much the same way they can make their own babies, they can replicate. These are living organisms versus viruses which are not exactly living, they're not living but they're also not dead either. They're very interesting. It's kind of this non-living entity and they actually need host cells, they need your cells or an animal cell to basically inject their genetic information into these cells and then the cells replicate and do the job for them.

It's kind of really a strange phenomenon. This is where we get into these ideas about vampires, or zombie apocalypse or some virus spreading through something injecting it's venom into another person, that viruses kind of do that, right? They're non-living, whooo. Non-living and they inject their information into a host cell and then that cell then replicates it becomes that virus, it stops making genetic material for the host cell so the human cell stops printing out material, the genetic information for itself and instead, starts printing out genetic information from that virus.

Now viruses do have that, they have information but they're considered to be non-living and this is another little interesting phenomenon going on. If you go to Netflix or you go to the top movies in the country, during this time period, when everybody's locked down, there is virus spreading and people are just... The top movies were like Pandemic, Outbreak, 2012, End of the World. We're self-perpetuating the fear. Watching... It's kind of like a scary movie. It's just like to feel something, to even be more engulfed in the fear and those movies, they shoot right to the top but not understanding the foundation information for how this actually works but I'm sure it's good popcorn time, but I don't want you to freak yourself out because stuff works very differently than what you might see in a movie or in the media.

With that said, there's another big difference. Viruses need host cells to replicate, bacteria they can replicate on their own. That's one huge difference. Another difference is the size of viruses. Viruses are tiny, bacteria are obviously tiny but viruses are teeny tiny. Often cases we could fit 100 or even hundreds of viruses inside of a bacteria and there are viruses that specifically infect bacteria cells, not just host cells like human cells which you consider human cells and so that's another big... And this is why viruses can be a little bit tricky. These little fellows are tiny but they're also very powerful in some of the jobs they do. Again, these kind of help to make us who we are today.

Now another one of the big takeaways that I want you to have for today is how we address and target in medicine when we're dealing with a viral infection or a bacterial infection and it largely is in regards to how they interact with our cells. I remember growing up, even if we had a viral infection, often times physician would give antibiotics which is crazy to hear that today but it's just one of those things where we weren't even considering the impact they would have. There's also of course a placebo effect, which we're going to talk about a little bit later but antibiotics don't kill viruses. Viruses are doing a different type of activity and it largely has to do with the way that viruses interact with your human cells.

Viruses are able to basically merge themselves with human cells and kind of hijack the cell's internal memory and it's a far different activity than a colony of bacteria that can create overgrowth and dysbiosis and things like that. Viruses are operating on a whole different modality and we're going to talk about how to address them and our immune system and how it interacts with viruses as well because it's fascinating and I think it's really going to blow your mind. But I think this is a good spot to talk about the virus that's on everybody's mind today, that's on the tip of our tongues. COVID-19. COVID-19.

First of all, what does that mean? What does COVID-19 even mean? It's just a little bit of a blended acronym. The C-O, CO, that's for corona, corona virus. The V-I is virus and the D is disease and then we got the 19 at the end, it's the year, 2019. It's like taking over for the 99 in 2000s. COVID-19 put a... 2019s and the 2020s and so that's what it is, that's where we get the COVID-19 from.

Now, where did this actually come from? That's on a lot of people's minds and I have been waiting patiently, staying back just to keep my eye on the research to give a well thought out answer to this question, "Where did it come from?" Because there was some theories out there that this could be a biological weapon, right? That is definitely concern today. It's definitely possible create things in the lab. Another concern... But that doesn't seem to hold any weight right now. Another concern is that this was an escaped virus from a laboratory, which has happened before. Humans tinkering with things and things getting out and exposing the public.

But what we're really looking at here is a mutation. We're looking at a mutation, a different "strain" of a coronavirus. Coronaviruses have been around a long time. If you even look at some of your... If you got especially like industrial strength cleaning products, you'll even see it that it kills herpes virus, it kills coronavirus. How did we even know about coronavirus five years ago when this thing was made? It's because it's been around a long time and it's highly likely that you've been infected by a coronavirus at one point and the crazy thing is that many times we don't even know it. It's become a popular word in our lexicon today but again it's been around a long time.

Where we see symptoms with coronaviruses can induce strong symptoms while others can cause only mild to moderate infections like the common cold and what I want to point back to again and just kind of make some sense of this because words are powerful and this has become a term that we've given a lot of power to in our culture and the coronavirus family make up a very large family of viruses that infect birds and mammals, including humans and this is where we think that this is one of the stronger theories that the virus did a species jump, it jumped species, it started off with bat. Just kind of like Peter Parker getting bit by the radioactive spider. Somebody's getting bit or biting a nasty radioactive bat in a sense kind of picking this virus up and then it got transferred to another species and then to humans and so that's one of the things where a virus can mutate. It can...

Because everything on this planet is trying to survive, it adapts and survives. Obviously, we're talking about mutations. This is how viruses came to be a part of the human genome, is the fact that they've been able to evolve just as we have and continuously we've had the ability to evolve and move beyond them. We're still here, we're the most resilient species on the planet.

Now, where does the name corona actually come from because this is a little... Right, they call it exotic it's a exotic name but the coronavirus it actually derives its names because of the spiky projections that are on the outer surface of the virus and they kind of resemble a crown. Crown, which Crown in Latin is corona. I don't know why we're still doing the Latin thing. Nobody speaks Latin now. Maybe at the Vatican, a little bit but really we could just call it crown. I think it would have been even less offensive or less scary if it was called the Crown virus, the Crown Royal virus. Like "Let me get some of that." But today again, it's really driven by a fear and the way that we connect words together creates even more fear, especially if it's something we don't understand.

Now, there was actually some research done, and this was done by the World Health Organization and the CDC. Now, their aim based on their experience because initially when this Coronavirus hit, it was referred to as the Wuhan virus because in Wuhan, China was where it was first identified but quickly the name was changed because again, the World Health Organization and the CDC and other entities have been working to stop naming viruses after specific places and animals because of the inherent stigma that it creates in the mind of a human.

So calling a virus the name of an animal or a place is very irresponsible because humans, we naturally connect problems to those things. It's called neuro-association and so Corona Beer for example, they've taken a huge hit. Why would they not? Automatically you see Corona and you think "Man, it's associated with illness and death." Wow, that's incredibly powerful. So we need to be careful in our associations with things as well and even the Coronavirus has got a lot of nicknames out there now, Rona some people call it, is Rona, Rona is visiting. Maybe we'll call it My Sharona maybe, my, my, my Sharona?

Or maybe Roni, how about Tenderoni, shout out to Bobby Brown.

Alright. We'll call it Tenderoni. I might implement that here and there in this talk so if I say Tenderoni, you know I'm referring to the Coronavirus or COVID-19. Now this is probably the most important part for you to assimilate in this episode and in this moment right now. We're going to talk about how your body actually eliminates this virus because that's why we looked over in the media. We have been... The loss of life period, of human life is tragic. Absolutely. But we get hyper-focused on this part and spread an immense amount of fear and as you're going to find out today, this can lead to even more illness.

But we're not talking about the millions upon millions upon millions of people who've been exposed to the virus that are thriving, that are fine because their immune system took care of it. You have to know how this works so that we could start to eliminate and reduce some of the fear because your body, like I said, the human immune system is one of the most dynamic and complex powerful entities in the known universe and it starts with when your body is infected by a new virus, the Coronavirus is taking hold of your cells, again it inserts its genetic information, it attaches to the cell and inserts it's genetic information into the cell and one of the first things that happens is that you get these cytotoxic T cells.

Your body's production of these cytotoxic T cells, they're basically circulating your system. They're like little police cars driving around and they notice if a virus, like the Coronavirus has been basically, their information is now showing up on the receptor sites for that cell. It's kind of like a little alarm getting tripped and then these cytotoxic T cells roll by with the police force and they release these cytotoxic factors, they just rain down fire on the Coronavirus cells and take them out.

Now viruses again, they're very tricky, they can be. They're adaptable so we don't have just one weapon. In addition to the cytotoxic T cells, we also have natural killer cells, these NK cells. Now, sometimes viruses try to hide and they're able to reduce that exposure that would be put out there by being on the receptor site of the cell, they're able to reduce that by hiding out in the cell but natural killer cells are floating around and then when they notice that this cell doesn't have enough receptor sites showing, there's something wrong with this cell. They ante up, they bring in toxic compounds as well, these toxic substances to destroy these infected cells. They're like FBI agents sniffing out clues. They're like "This isn't right, what's going on here. I see you trying to hide." and they put a case together, they come take the cell out.

Alright. So, we got our natural killer cells as well and in addition to that, we also have our interferons and interferons are group of signaling proteins made and released by host cells, by your cells in response to the presence of viruses. They're named interferons because of their ability to interfere with viral replication. Viruses are trying to replicate so the interferons interfere with that replication process to stop them in their tracks and they also are able to alert and inform and protect nearby cells from being infected by the virus.

Alright. So interferons are like little informants basically, alright. Little informants, they're necessary. They might not be good, bad guy, whatever. We're not going to label but they are informants. They let everybody know "Hey, we got a problem over here, you didn't hear it from me." so that's interferons. And something else really remarkable that our immune system has at its disposal is that we produce antibodies. We produce antibodies. Antibodies are able to actually stick to receptor sites on virally infected cells, thereby making them unable to attach to other cells, they can't spread, they can't go on because these antibodies attach to the receptor sites.

So some antibodies do that, something else really remarkable that antibodies are able to do, they're able to actually tag a virus, leave a tag on. It's basically like back in the day at school and you attach a "Kick Me" sign to somebody's back, like Kick Me, right? Not saying to do that, that's not nice but it's like attaching a tag to a virus for the macrophages to then come in and kick them right in the assets. The macrophages come in, they don't actually kick the virus cell. They come in, macrophages actually eat the virus cell like little Pac-Man but it's thanks to the antibodies tagging them that these are infected cells so very highly intelligent immune system and this is the thing that's not talked about with the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people exposed to the virus and their immune systems are able to simply do their job and take the virus out and we're okay.

Now this is what's really, really cool in this is that we also have B cells. These are other immune cells and these B cells are responsible for something incredible known as humoral immunity. This is your ability, your body's ability, your immune system's ability to actually "remember an infection that it's been exposed to." Not only does it take this virus out, it learns how to at any moment, if a virus even remotely close or if the same virus, if you come in contact with it again, you can't be infected because your immune system is right there on top of it, it learns. Your immune system learns.

This is why the statement like widely accepted in our culture that like chickenpox, you can only get it once. Your immune system learns that illness, it kills it, kills it off and it retains that memory so that it's very effective. It's why parents, like from back in the day, the parent would... Like I remember my brother and sister got the chickenpox, your boy got it, I got the chickenpox but my mom didn't get it. She didn't get it. She already... She had it before. So she wasn't afraid to put the, was it the calamine lotion, is that what it's called? This pink lotion, it looked like Pepto-Bismol, it was put on my body to help with the itching.

Not a stellar moment in my life but it's one of those... It's kind of... It used to be like a rite of passage and in some folks and this is a true story, would have what they would call chickenpox get-togethers or chickenpox parties and just to get it over with, bring their kids over to other kids in the neighborhood or friends and family that have it so they can get it and get it over with. Strange, humans are so weird but just look at some of the weird stuff that we do, that we're doing today and we're going to look back on these things and see, some of these things just aren't very normal.

Now, with this understanding and with this broader education about how our amazing immune system actually works, the question arises, why then has this situation, this Coronavirus spread so rapidly, created so much media attention and so much fear? Why are we quarantined? Why are we distancing ourselves from other people? What's going on? What makes this different? Well, there are a couple of things. Number one, there isn't an innate immunity to this particular strain of virus.

Again, we develop an immunity to stuff that even resembles certain viruses, there isn't, as of now an innate immunity to the virus. Basically, anybody can get infected with the virus.

Now, as we've already disclosed, your amazing immune system for somewhere around 98% to 99% of folks is going to readily be able to eliminate the virus and you're okay. The big problem that we're facing with this particular virus is the potential and a justifiable concern, by the way, the potential overwhelm of our hospitals and of our medical system. That's where we can run into big problems. Hospital beds getting filled up, medical staff being overburdened and overrun and then their immune system crashes, they contract the virus and they're not able to fight and then we don't have people to take care of anybody, whatever medical condition, they might have.

Folks that are dealing with maybe an emergency situation of some kind of a wound but now the medical professionals are getting hit so I hope that makes sense. That's just one of the justifiable reasons is the burden that it could have on our medical system. But our attention has not been turned towards that. Our attention has been turned towards ourselves, oftentimes, thanks in large part to obviously, the media is going to sensationalize this because their job is to grab eyeballs and to grab attention. It always has been in our modern society and this is how it's in the foreseeable future going to continue to be. They want to grab your attention and they want to be the ones to create as much emotional connection to their stuff, to their report, to their story so that you're not looking everywhere else. They want to be just like any other business, your go-to source. So they're going to want to make it as emotionally driven as possible.

Again, we have some justifiable reasons for this but the extreme lean on fear and not looking at the bigger picture, not even giving people the opportunity to understand how this stuff actually works is a huge disservice to the public and this is something that we can all do something about. We can get the education and we can communicate and help to ease the minds of people who are scared. They're in fear right now and so, I want to dive a little bit deeper into this and talk more about what's going on because it's not just me saying this, as far as our immune system being able to do its job to defend our bodies. We know that there is a big catch-22. It's the overburden of our medical system and people really are passing away and there's this huge caveat that often gets overlooked.

A study conducted recently, recently published by Italy's National Health Institute just a few days ago, as of this recording, revealed that more than 99%, more than 99% of Italy's Coronavirus fatalities were folks who were suffering from previous medical conditions. In this study, they found that 25% of the individuals who passed away were dealing with one chronic illness, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etcetera, etcetera. About 26% of them, were dealing with two chronic diseases and almost 50%, 49% of them were dealing with three chronic diseases of the total number of folks who passed away from this virus.

The loss of human life is tragic, always. This should not happen but what we're not looking at is we need to help our community to be healthier so that when these things show up, we are not victims and this is what we're not talking about in this conversation. We should not have a society that has these rampant and it just continues to go up. You would think with our knowledge today and our access to technology, that we would see declines in chronic illnesses, they've only continued to rise and there's a problem with this.

If we were publicizing the demand, the need for us to step up as a society and help other people, help our community, help our senior citizens to live a healthier lifestyle like we've so quickly integrated, in separating from each other, we could transform our entire reality. But this is not where our energy and attention has been driven because of fear.

To do this out of love, to do this proactively, to prevent issues like this by helping folks to have a system that is more readily able to defend itself, that takes an act of love, when there's not a problem going on it takes an act of love but we tend to just push these things off until something tragic happens. The number one killer in the world today is heart disease and we got cancer, we got diabetes and we've talked about... This is what this show is all about. We look at the science behind these conditions and we give people the power to understand how they actually work and what we can do to help our bodies to defend itself to do the job that it already knows how to do.

We all have cancer cells every day, we all are interacting with viruses and bacteria every single day but a healthy immune system just takes care of those things, that's what it has evolved to do and so soapbox retracted, I want to get back to what we can actually do here because I think that this is a huge opportunity, this is a huge call to action, a huge time of change for us to not come out of this and turn a blind eye to the biggest underlying problem which is, we live in a world today where chronic illness is normal, things that our ancestors didn't even deal with are now normal.

When we see right now, two-thirds of certain portions of the population being either diabetic or pre-diabetic, that's a problem. We know now that these are largely... I'm talking about type 2 diabetes, adult-onset diabetes, it is no longer called adult-onset diabetes because kids get it now because of our lifestyle and again, if you want to dive more into diabetes and the science on that, we did an entire masterclass episode on that, we'll put it in the show notes for you but these are the things that we need to really address and we need to come out of this healthier as a community.

And now, I'm really saying all of this to say and to make this one huge point which is, because of what's being impressed upon us by the media and the inherent fear, any of us, it doesn't matter what kind of work you've done on yourself, you're going to experience some of that. You're going to get hit by the fear and the worry and that perpetuates itself into behavior and we start jumping back right into our hindbrain, we get away from the executive functions of reasoning and we get into this place where it's every man for them self and most of us, if we're being honest, we're not in fear because we might contract the Coronavirus and then give it to somebody who's truly susceptible, like folks who are dealing with chronic illnesses, elderly populations, most of us are not scared of that, we're scared for ourselves, we're scared because we have fear that this thing will hurt us and the truth is, for the vast majority of people, it's simply not true.

We're not concerned about the right thing because of what we've been infected with. This virus has gone viral, this virus, even the term meme, there's memes everywhere, you can't go anywhere without seeing it, if you're going to jump on social media. Memes are mind viruses and our brains have been hijacked with fear and here's what's really going on.

Nobel Prize-winning researcher and bio-physicist Michael Levitt, who predicted the number of reported cases of Coronavirus to a startling degree, said that "What we need to do is to control the panic. We are going to be fine." On February 1st, he predicted the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China would end up being around 80000 with about 3250 folks passing away from the virus.

This forecast as we're recording this episode, this forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate. As of this recording, towards the end of March, mid-end of March, China had counted a total of... He predicted 80000, they're at basically 80300 cases and 3245 folks passing away in a nation of nearly 1.4 billion people and tens of millions at least being exposed to the virus and their body just killed the virus off and they were okay.

He predicted this, the curve that we would see and this man... This isn't just like "Oh, this is just a guy, just a guy on social media saying his conspiracy theory." He won a little thing called a Nobel Prize so he might know a little and he actually blames the media for causing unnecessary panic by focusing on relentless increases in the cumulative number of cases and spot-lighting celebrities contracting the virus and by contrast, he brought this up, with the flu infecting and causing sickness for over 36 million Americans already since September and taking the lives of at least 22000 people thus far.

Now again, this isn't a battle of what's worse, the flu or a coronavirus, both of these are viruses. The point is, this has been going on for a long time, we just haven't talked about it, we haven't been perpetually in fear of these viruses affecting us because the message has not been put out there. Tens of thousands of people in this country die every year because they're getting the flu. Largely the vast majority of those cases are because folks have pre-existing medical conditions that many of them are largely preventable and so again, what we need to do as a society is to come together and to create an action plan to make sure that our bodies are healthier and more resilient and again, put us in the prime position for our immune system, our innate immune system to do the job that is designed to do, because this is not the last time, matter of fact, every couple of years we get a big one come in, this one's different.

We have to learn the lesson and adapt. We can't just do this, we can't shut down society whenever a new virus comes along because that in and of itself creates a huge, huge economic health crisis that is definitely going to be around the corner.

This Nobel Prize winning researcher goes on to say that he fears public health measures that have shut-down large swathes of the economy could raise their own health catastrophe as lost jobs lead to poverty and hopelessness and time and time again, we see this. Researchers see that rates of depression, anxiety and suicide rates go up when the economy spirals downwards and research from the Mental Health Foundation disclosed that, "One of the things that leads to panic attacks is excessive worrying for unsubstantiated reasons." This is justifiable, what's happening right now in many aspects. In many aspects, it's not. We have to manage this a lot better moving forward into the future because there's a lot of overlooked results that are taking place.

Many people are able to just kind of hunker down and hang out with family, work from home, exercise from home. You see that all and I love this, we need this. Everybody... So many people sharing health strategies, exercise to do at home and all these wonderful things but some of the overlooked things are there are many families that are now without food, who are now without money.

Number one, because of our fear we go and start hoarding everything and those that really need it aren't able to get access and also simply because everything shut down and some people, many people, millions of people who are working for hourly wages, their businesses or also small businesses who are paying these folks or even trying to run themselves, they're not able to continue paying their employees’ salaries or their employees hourly wage simply because they can't come to work. Everything shuts down and we get into a place of true, true danger.

We're talking about people losing their homes, we're talking about people losing their ability to have meals because I don't think a lot of us realize that there are countless kids in this country who depend on school breakfast and lunch just to be able to eat a hot meal each day. School shut down. Now, what happens when that child is now at home with the parent or parents who are not able to go to work because they got to stay home with their kid to pay this hourly wage and they're already at a place that they're struggling to get by? It can become catastrophic.

And so there's a bigger thing in place. But again, we're doing this with the right heart which is to protect ourselves and to protect people we care about but we're not addressing the real underlying issues so that when this happens, again we're in a better position to not shut our society down which is going to have long-term ramifications because again, as we see in the data, very clearly as the economy begins to shift downward we see an increase in rates of things like depression.

Now, depression is actually the leading cause of disability in the United States today according to the journal of the American Medical Association. We're likely going to see this pendulum swing in a way that we see these rates go up as folks are trying to adjust and recover and they're just stressed and they're in fear and they're worried and they're losing their ability to pay their rent, to keep their utilities on.

I grew up in a home where I might come home and we don't have electricity. We might be sitting around doing our homework and the lights go out or we got to warm up water in order to take a bath on the stove. We got the electric stove at least you can warm the water up because the gas is turned off. I've lived that life and so many people are going to become victims of this because of how we're responding to this thing and we're not even looking at how do we fix it at its core so that when it happens again...

But this is a great opportunity for us to support each other. If there's anybody that you know that you can support, that you can help out with, that you can lend a helping hand when you know they're in a tight spot, please do it. I've been doing that for my family members to the best of my ability and still being able to take care of my kids and my team. It's tough, it's a very abnormal kind of weird situation but as this Nobel Prize winning smart guy said "We will get through this."

Now another huge point that we need to take a look at that is again, largely overlooked in situations like this but it kind of comes to the forefront and I've had people asking me questions about this and this just tells me that they're thinking bigger, they take in a Meta perspective of this thing. We need to be able to zoom in and look at the small minute but to also zoom out and look at the bigger picture and how things are operating and they were asking me about, have you ever heard this term or this saying, worried sick. I was worried sick.

Worried sick is an actual phenomenon thanks in part to the nocebo effect. Many people are very much aware of the placebo effect. In clinical trials we have to account for it and every clinical trial that's done, we have to account for the placebo taking action. This is why we do double blind placebo-controlled studies because of the fact that on average placebos, fake drugs, fake treatments, fake surgeries are about 33% effective on average overall in clinical trials.

Just the belief that a drug or treatment or a surgery is doing something to the body, people believing that that's the case will then cause the body to respond as if they're actually taking the medication. Their blood pressure can drop even though they're not taking an actual blood pressure reducing medication. Their cancer tumor can start to dissolve because they believe they're taking chemotherapy medication but it's not actually the case. By the way, if you want to see a great book on this Mind Over Medicine, by Lissa Rankin. Dr. Lissa Rankin. She was on the show a while back. Great compilation of some of this research. It's just phenomenal.

But with the placebo effect, we have the kind of... I don't want to say it's the dark side but I guess it is where we get a negative injunction that something bad is going to happen when you take a certain thing or a certain thing happens. You're infected by a certain pathogen or an allergen and then your body then proceeds, even if it's not true, to have the symptoms and negative response just because of the belief.

Now a recent study revealed that the nocebo effect is possibly more powerful than the flu virus in that it compromises your immune system before you've even had a chance to catch the actual virus. Researchers at Harvard University said, "Nocebo is at least as important as a placebo effect and may be even more widespread" disclosing in this study that study after study of the nocebo effect in people's minds causing negative immune responses, increased symptoms of allergies, asthma, pain and much more.

Now listen to this, Fabrizio Benedetti, a neuro physiologist at the University of Turin Medical School in Italy monitored the actual effects on the body caused by a negative belief about getting sick or having negative side effects. He discovered that the negative belief activated the body's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and increased the release of related stress hormones and research conducted by scientists at the University of Kentucky demonstrated that these stress hormones and stress exposure can increase the likelihood of developing the disease, developing the illness as well as exacerbating pre-existing conditions.

Our belief, our fear about the thing, about contracting an illness literally suppresses our immune system and makes us more susceptible to getting the illness. Please get this. This is not just oh, it sounds nice, it sounds like... No, this is facts and you know this, we all know this inherently. Fear, doubt, worry. When we are feeling those feelings, we're creating chemistry in our body. Every thought you have has correlating chemistry that's release in your system and that chemistry... Now here's the thing, in acute instances, stress actually heightens and improves the immune system but long-term constant chronic stress, fear has suppressive effects on the immune system that can be absolutely catastrophic so this is why I wanted to again, reign things in, deliver today a more comprehensive review of the data and give us some real world solutions on what we can do moving into the future.

And the truth is we all affect each other. Just like the bacteria and viruses and human cells that make up this universe inside of our bodies, each and every one of us are like cells in this body we call the earth. It's a living entity as well and we're like cells in it and we do in fact impact each other to the degree if you take a look at research coming out of Princeton University and they've been studying this for decades now and they put together what's known as the Global Consciousness experiment and this was a huge experiment that's been tracking again, going on for decades and then what they were utilizing and this was, again this was published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration back in 2002 and this particular study, their data reported that they were using a network of computers around the world that are set to churn out random strings of numbers. It's just random number generation and apparently, whenever there's a situation of heightened emotion on the planet they would see these very strange spikes take place in this random number generation to the degree that it could not be from simple mathematical coincidence.


And specifically, they reported that the traumatic terrorist attack that took place on 9/ll caused such a powerful outpouring of emotion across the planet that there were measurable effects upon the network computers that was extremely unlikely to have happened by simple chance. We affected, our human emotion affected these network computers and the data is just really, really powerful, really interesting.

But these are computers, these are non-living entities. Just think about how we affect each other. We know that we all have mirror neurons that replicate behavior of those around us. We know that we have a tube torus, an electromagnetic field that extends from our bodies and literally have an energy field that if we're in proximity to another person, our energy fields, which sounds kind of... Is that some hippy stuff Shawn?

It's not hippy stuff. We truly do have these energy fields, these electromagnetic fields that extend from our bodies that when we're in proximity with the other people, these interact and this extends out to the world around us. Maybe in the smallest, tiniest, teeny tiniest minute way we are extremely powerful. We might think that we are small, we're a victim, we're not important. In reality, you are the most important person in the universe and at the same time, yes. The way you feel might not matter much.

It's a combination of all of these things, right? It's like the butterfly effect. It's like a drop in the ocean, all these drops in the ocean create the ocean. All of our energy together creates the overall consciousness that we have here in the planet.

This is some really interesting, powerful stuff and I don't want to spend too much time on this but I just want you to realize that the energy that is on the Earth right now that you're feeling, it's not just you. We're inundated with it. It's a huge umbrella that's hovering over us. This fear, worry, greed, doubt and I hope that today by getting educated about this, it helps to create a little bit of solace for you moving forward, that you can then share with the people you care about.

Now, we might be looking towards a vaccine coming to save the day for this virus but what about the next virus and the next virus? And the stark reality is that we're at least, at least a year, year and a half, two years from a vaccine that's able to defend the human body from the coronavirus and I want you to understand something very, very powerful.

There are literally hundreds of approved drugs every single year, including vaccines that are involved in adverse health events and many are even pulled off the market due to new discoveries of their harmful, even deadly impacts on human health. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about one-third of the drugs the FDA approved between 2001 and 2010 were involved in some kind of a safety crisis, a safety event after reaching the market.

Now, here's the important part I wanted to share with you. The study specifically, noted that drugs that went through an accelerated, approval process which is what we're looking for right now, had a higher number of adverse events. If we're going to get it right, it's going to take time. In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that." The great poet, Sweet Brown. So what do we do? This is what I want you to realize. Is that vaccines work on the same principles, along with what your immune system does. You get exposed to a virus in the vaccine, a possibly dead virus, a weakened virus, a different strain of the virus and then your immune system builds up an immunity to it. But here's the key. The vaccine doesn't make you immune. Your immune system makes you immune. Your immune system does the job. It's not the vaccine. It's your immune system getting trained.

So this is what we're in the midst of now and we have bodies that are highly capable of doing this for the vast majority of human beings on the planet right now but we need to do better. We need to help those that are in susceptible conditions. If we're on that borderline, pre-diabetes, whatever this is a call to action for us to really get our health in order so when this next thing comes, we're ready. All right?

Now. Let's dive in. Let's talk about what are some of the things we could do? What are some actionable, tangible, real-world things that we can do to help to fortify our immune system, specifically? And we're going to talk about some specifics in regards to viral infections and so what I want to do is to go through at least maybe four things that are practical, that are clinically proven to be effective and the first thing... I want to go right for the low-hanging fruit because when we're self-quarantined, when we're advised or even in fear about staying inside, we can handicap ourselves with this thing that your genes expect you to do. Your immune system requires you to do in order to be healthy, in order to protect yourself against viral infections and the first one is that we need to move our bodies. We have to absolutely get some exercise.

A study conducted at Appalachian State University found that simply walking caused short-term boosts in immune parameters. Most notably, our natural killer cells and we started at the top of the show talking about how important natural killer cells are in the elimination of viruses. Simply going for a walk.

Let's go outside. Let's go for a walk. If you got a treadmill at the crib, go ahead and jump on there. Find a way to do some cardiovascular-type activity because that's really important for moving your lymphatic system. Which your lymphatic system is a big hub for your immune system and it's especially important for elimination of toxins, of residues from viral infections, bacteria all that stuff is passing through this hub, known as your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is like an extra cellular waste management system and it literally does not move unless you move. You have to move for the lymphatic system to work.

Am I saying not to binge on a couple of seasons of something on Netflix? Absolutely not. Knock yourself out. Is it, Tiger King? I saw Tiger King was number one in the country today. Super weird but it'll getcha. Dive in. Do your binge watching but make sure that you get some movement in. Your body, your immune system requires it in order to defend yourself from any nefarious thing you might come in contact with. We need this more than ever so make sure that you're getting some adequate exercise in.

Now let's go to number two on these very specific, clinically-proven modalities to help to defend ourselves from viral infections, from bacterial infections, from any kind of pathogens that we come in contact with. This is going to sound absolutely crazy but you got to sleep. You got to get that nighty, nighty. You got to get that beauty sleep in and research published by the Mayo Clinic shows that people who don't get adequate sleep or high-quality sleep because that's what we talk about, even with my book, Sleep Smarter. It's not about sleeping more, it's about sleeping better.

Getting high-quality sleep going through all of your stages of sleep efficiently and effectively but what they discover was folks who are not getting adequate sleep or not getting high-quality sleep were far more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. What do you know? You have to sleep. You have to get adequate sleep. You have to get high-quality sleep. This is not a time to be "Okay, we're going to binge-watch" but then we binge-watch, binge-watch, binge and we're not sleeping. Just because your schedule and your routine might be a little bit in flux, make sure that you get yourself your sleep so that you can give your immune system what it really needs to be able to do its job and specifically, have you ever noticed, even if you do get a viral infection or a bacterial infection, any kind of sickness, have you ever noticed that suddenly you sleep a lot more?

Your body makes you shut it down, goes to sleep mode because it can really do its hyper job at defending yourself from the infection and to bring you back better faster and this is because during sleep, your immune system actually releases certain proteins called cytokines and this is a big part of your defense system as well and cytokines by the way, actually promote sleep but you need sleep in order to heighten the activity of these cytokines because certain cytokines need to increase when you are dealing with an infection or when you're under stress.

Sleep deprivation can decrease production of these protective cytokines. There's a relationship. There's a direct correlation with sleep and the effectiveness and production of these cytokines that help to protect you and help to fortify your immune system and defend you from infections and also, the production and activity of infection-fighting cells and antibodies are significantly reduced during times when you don't get enough sleep. All of that's... Your immune is suppressed, when you're sleep-deprived. If we're looking for some kind of a medicine to take right now, get your sleep, your vitamin Z. I don't know if I made that up. I might have said it before but you heard it here first.

Let's move on to number three. Number three we need to have clinically proven immune-supportive solutions with our nutrition. Now, I specifically looked into the data and I looked at things that have significant antiviral effects in the data. And one of them really, actually surprised me. A meta-analysis, published in evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that propolis has very significant anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and even anti-tumor properties. It's well noted to be an immunomodulator that increases the body's resistance to a viral infection and propolis treated patients showed a reduction in incidents and a reduction in severity of lung and breathing related inflammatory symptoms.

A big part of the Corona scare is involved and again, justifiably so, with the lungs and with breathing. This has clinical evidence to its efficacy for that and so, this is a... If you don't know what propolis is, this is a product... Bees don't just make honey, they also make propolis. Propolis has been around and used in medicine for thousands of years. But listen to this, this is even more fascinating.

Another study that was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy revealed that propolis has significant anti-viral effects, specifically in reducing viral lung infections. What? Yeah, incredible. But why? I'm always asking why? Why? Why is it so effective for these things?

A big reason is that propolis has over 300 active compounds. The majority of these compounds being in the form of antioxidants, specifically polyphenols that are also well documented to reduce inflammation and fight disease, even more specifically than that, polyphenols have been proven to inhibit the activity of Coronavirus according to a recent data published in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Virology. Yeah, I bet the interwebs didn't tell you that one okay? Specifically Coronavirus. Now again, this is a different strain, mutated.

There are real world solutions and the evidence we have to get ourselves healthy, real food, first of all, real food. But adding in things like these at a time like this can be really remarkable and we actually use propolis, we have been using it pretty much, I don't know, since the winter months have hit and it's something that I give to my kids as well. I use this incredible propolis throat spray and it's easy to use, it tastes really good actually and literally, even every day right now, I make sure my son gets his propolis spray and I get mine from Beekeepers Naturals.

They have an incredible propolis throat spray but this is why I get it from there, is that they do third-party testing and they look at a wide range of toxins that are often in bee products that you just don't hear about. So they're making sure you're not getting your propolis along with things you might find in other honey products, propolis products like arsenic, lead, nefarious bacteria, Salmonella, yeast, molds, things like that. You don't want that kind of stuff in your medicine cabinet.

So get it from the source that actually does this the right way and that is Beekeepers Naturals and the website is, where you can pick it up, is and you actually get 15% off on everything that they carry, the propolis throat spray, you get 15% off, their incredible Superfood honey, they've got an incredible nootropic product that has royal jelly. So many great things for the immune system but again, specifically for this, propolis throat spray is really on point. So it's, that's, 15% off on everything they carry over there. I'm a big fan of that. Something that I personally am doing, I'm doing this every day. I'm having this propolis throat spray.

So let's move on and look at what else we have as far as the nutrition is concerned. Another thing is, and this is going to have a nutrition component to it but I think you need to know about this. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center found that blue light from the sun's rays are capable of boosting the activity of infection fighting T cells. We need sunlight baby, baby, baby.

Now listen, sunlight is also critical in producing Vitamin D. It's known as the sunshine vitamin. Have you ever noticed that it's during this time of year when most of us are in winter that these viruses seem to show their face that our immune systems are a little bit lower and we're more susceptible?

There's a direct one-to-one correlation here. If you look at research that's published in the journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity, as well as increased susceptibility to viral infections or infections really overall of any type so we need Vitamin D right now. Alright?

Sunlight is important. We want to get outdoors if it all possible but this would be something we would consider supplementing with this time of year as well but we want to get Vitamin D3 preferably from a high quality source but there's many different ones on the market. D3 might be a good idea right now and also, I want to reiterate this, the basis of the nutrition comes from real food. This is the main thing that's going to help to... Your immune cells are made of the food that you eat. Do you want your immune cells to be made out of high-quality real food ingredients or processed garbage, right?

When I went to the grocery store, this was not in my plans but I was hearing about, they're going to shut stuff down, the businesses and I know that obviously the store shelves are just going to get raided. So I was like, let's go and get some stuff because we're going to need breakfast tomorrow. So I took my youngest son Braden and my oldest son Jorden and his friend, Jorden's friend, Arman, we went to our local grocery store here and it was like the wild west. We are in Cali but wow! Okay, it was crazy.

And if you go to the, obviously frozen food section, processed foods, gone! Ramen noodles, gone. SpaghettiOs, gone. Guess what wasn't gone? Kale. The produce was largely... There's a lot of produce still there and I'm just wondering like I'm in LA. This is probably the kale capital of the universe, here in LA but the kale was all there. We reverted to again that primitive brain like, I need to get stuff that could be there for two months so I need to grab these ramen noodles. I'll holler at the kale at another time.

But that's what we've been eating. We've been eating plenty of greens, plenty of fresh produce and just doing our best with it. You know, I was freezing a lot of stuff as well. They didn't have any frozen, like berries and things like that so we just bought them fresh and froze them because a lot of people weren't picking those up. But real food is the basis here, alright? I walked by the toilet paper aisle, it was like a ghost town. I walked by, it was like I swear I saw a tissue tumbleweed go by, I was like...

Alright? It was like that, like...

As I was walking by and it's just "man." The toilet paper... Again, we thought we'd have flying cars right now instead we're dealing with toilet paper apocalypse. So real food is the basis. Mark my words, don't get me wrong but we're just looking at some other things we can add in here. One other thing of course, like the class of medicinal mushrooms are incredibly powerful because these are well-noted immunomodulators and immunomodulators, these are far more effective than drugs at dictating and supporting the immune system because an immunomodulator means that it can press your immune system up when it needs to be pressed up and it can bring it down when it needs to be brought down because sometimes our immune system can be in hyper-action, that's what we see with autoimmunity and also what we see with fear, right? That chronic fear that we're in, your immune system is going to be really amped up but because it's just constant chronic it's going to end up crashing.

So specifically, medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, there's data published in the journal Mediators of Inflammation, discovered that polysaccharides found in Reishi were found to enhance the proliferation of T cells and B cells, those cells that remember. Alright? They remember infections so that if you're ever faced with it again, it easily takes it out, builds the weapons to kill it off and another thing about Reishi, and this is why I love Reishi is just the immune benefits but also the sleep benefits and in this study, published in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found that the renowned medicinal mushroom Reishi was able to significantly decrease sleep latency, meaning you fall asleep faster, increase overall sleep time and most importantly improve overall sleep quality by helping you to get more deep non-REM sleep and also REM sleep. All right there in the data, alright, Reishi Mushroom.

I get my Reishi from Four Sigmatic. I've been using it for years. I love their products and again, something I do in a daily basis, the Reishi is something great to have in the evening, go to, you get 15% off there as well. So, it's and you get 15% off everything they carry Reishi, Chaga's fantastic right now for the immune system.

Chaga has been found to boost NK cell activity over like 300%. Remarkable. There's also some stuff in the data I was looking at with Elderberry specifically being able to be effective against Coronavirus. There're so many different things but that propolis is remarkable, medicinal mushrooms are remarkable, real food, most important. Alright now, final, this is the final one and I hope that this is, again, bringing some solace and bringing some empowerment in this really strange time in our history.

At number four and this might be the most important thing that we need to do, we need to laugh. We need to connect. We need to come together as humanity in our communities, our families and not just because it sounds nice, but because this is clinically proven to help our immune system. When we're stressed out, our immune system's ability to fight off infections is reduced. Our susceptibility to infection goes up. This is well-documented in the data.

I've got a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies here published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, concluded that short acute stressors can trigger potentially beneficial changes to the immune system. Like I said, short-term immune system comes up, if you're short-term stressed, that's a good thing but constant chronic stress as the research indicates here in this study, hundreds of studies, constant chronic stress causes the immune system to be suppressed in a detrimental way.

We cannot let this stuff control our minds, control our lives as we talked about, this virus has gone viral and we're forgetting what makes us powerful. We're forgetting the thing that makes us human and that is connection. We need each other but we're in a situation where we're now experiencing a place where it's just love thy neighbor "I don't know, don't hug me though. Handshake, no. Well, maybe we can bump sneakers" or are actually six feet, right?

Not understanding how viruses work, not understanding how our immune systems are so powerfully remarkable. There's viruses in the air at all times, bacteria, fungi but not only have we talked about the virome today, we also have our overarching the microbiome that many people know about this bacteria cascade but there's also the Microbiome, right? This fungus cascade that we have. We are really interesting remarkable parts of all of these, parts of nature. We adapt, we move beyond it. Alright?

So we need to come together. We need to be more empowered in our communication, in our connection. Be smart but here's the thing, the reality is even very intelligent people, very well-trained, educated people... Let's say educated people. We can get our minds hijacked and we can jump right back into that, it's what's called an amygdala hijack in our brain where we're now having a century of our universe being fear, greed, worry, not enough, protect myself at all costs and forgetting about the true nature of humanity and there's a statement that under pressure, you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. You don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.

Hopefully, many of us have been training for situations like this but if you haven't, it's okay. Now is the time to do it. Now is the time to implement your practices of self-care and of other care. Caring for your loved ones, helping our communities to get healthier because love thy neighbor is a little sketchy right now and we've got to do better. But this, even when what I'm saying love thy neighbor, that's a scriptural reference and if we're talking about a scriptural reference, we have to look at the fact that even folks who have a strong belief in a higher power, in God, at times like this, they allow the media to take control of their mind and not have God at the forefront of their mind and of their power and scripturally, to give another scriptural reference and this is in the book of Timothy it says: "God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of sound mind."

Right now, more than ever, we need to be of sound mind and this starts with getting educated about what we're really dealing with here and again, hopefully, this is bringing some solace and I want to share another scriptural reference. This is from John 4:18, "Love drives out fear, love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment." We're punishing ourselves right now by being inundated by this fear and finally, one more Scriptural reference, this is Proverbs 2:11, "Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you."

Discretion will protect you, wash your hands, if you're sick stay home. Discretion, use your common sense but understanding will guard you. Understanding what we're dealing with, not because they said but because you truly have taken the time to understand the landscape of this thing from a broader perspective, from what God sees.

Now, you might be like "Well Shawn, this is not about God, it's about science." I bring the science, I do that, that's my thing. Oh please believe, a lot of people that you're getting this information from about the science don't even know what's going on because pretty much nobody does. This is a new thing, it's a new thing that we're dealing with as a society but we've dealt with many new things in the past and we have to remember how powerful we are but we have to do our part to take care of our own health and to also take care of the health of our families and our communities more than ever, do what you can right now to extend a hand.

Maybe it's just a virtual hand, maybe it's a door dash. I don't know but if you know somebody is running low on toilet paper, send a mission, send a man out, get something for their butt, they're going to need it. Alright, true story, I had to call Jorden's mom, my oldest son's mother in St. Louis because my mother-in-law, my greatest teacher, she ran out of TP. My meditation teacher, who taught me about nutrition. First, why the Model Health Show exists. She didn't know what was going on, she went to a store, gone, wild west...

Tumbleweed, tissue tumbleweed, nothing. So I was like "Hey, this is going to sound weird but can you take my mom some TP for her booty because it's gone?" So weird but we got... 'Cause she's in a different city, she's in St. Louis. But we can connect, we can reach out, we can help and support each other and we can love on each other and it doesn't have to be that close contact right now, I get that. But please believe, we do not need to be in a place where we are afraid of each other as human beings, that's the worst thing that we can do. I was just about to have on the former US Sergeant General to talk about his new book that has to do with the greatest health detriment to our society and he's got the data, is our separateness of being apart from each other.

And then this happened to exacerbate the issue and we're walking around looking at each other like you got the kudis, you got the killer kudis. Now, be honest with me, have you been out and you look at somebody and you were worried about them having that thing, having Tenderoni or they see you and they're worried about you having the Tenderoni aka Coronavirus or you might be worried about them worried about you having the Coronavirus and you're like, "Hey it's not me, just relax, it's okay." When I was at the grocery store after I shared that story, we got in the elevator because it's LA, weird stuff like you've got to get on the elevator with the cart, the ladies who were across from me in the elevator, solid distance. She looked at me dead in my eyes, took her scarf, boom! Covered that face right up.

She went Sahara Desert right in my face, like... Okay, again the way that we're relating to each other, let's use more discretion as we move on. As it says, "Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you." Use discretion. We should be washing our hands anyways, common sense, don't be nasty, okay? But the way that we treat each other and understanding that our connection is more important than ever, we need human connection but we need to be smart about it and our biggest solution again, is helping to address the underlying problem which is getting our world healthier and you are a big part of that and I appreciate you making me a part of your life to help to provide some of these tools and insights.

Please, this is important, share this out with your friends and family, the people that you care about to help give them peace of mind, to help give them some solace. For them to have an understanding about what's going on so they can feel more empowered, alright.

Again, this is a strange time in human history but this can birth one of the most amazing things in our society, which is a cultural shift, a cultural world shift with our world family towards health and wellness. I appreciate you so much for hanging out with me today. We got some epic shows coming your way. I had some shows recorded prior to this that are going to be coming out but I wanted to jump in here and get this to you ASAP and some of these episodes coming up, are absolute game changers. I think you're really, really going to love it, so make sure to stay tuned, take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.

And for more after the show, make sure to head over to the, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you could find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well and please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome and I appreciate that so much and take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life, thanks for tuning in.

Maximize Your Energy

Get the Free Checklist: “5 Keys That Could Radically Improve Your Energy Levels and Quality of Life”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. You were reading my mind when you were recording this podcast. I can’t agree more with your view! As mother Theresa said to journalists when received Nobel Prize: “Go all of you and care of your families”
    What a sync level we’ve reached as all of us listening every week your amazing podcasts.
    Keep pushing my friend!!! You are the real vaccine!!!

    A big hug

    1. Alberto, this is everything!! Hope you are well during this crazy time. Take care!

  2. ugh, episode 405 was everything I needed to hear and more! I loved the scripture at the end

    1. Beth, so happy this resonated with you. I hope you are well during all this craziness. We are in this together!

  3. Shawn, I am an ER nurse and I have been listening to your show for awhile now and love it – information based on science – da best. I just want you to know this episode regarding the pandemic is solid and I appreciate your perspective and the scientific data you provide. Keep being you and bringing your positivity and knowledge to the world! You are a hero in my eyes! Thank you!

    1. Rhonda, this is everything – you are everything. Keep being a light and an inspiration to everyone. Your work as an ER nurse does NOT go unnoticed. Keep being OUR hero!

  4. This one of your best ones yet! Thank you so much for your compassion and common sense. I wish I could get everyone to listen. Blessings and protection to you and your family!

    1. Lela, thank you for your kind words. I hope you and your family are well during these times!

  5. Hey Shawn,
    This was an outstanding podcast. Packed with great information to dial down the panic surrounding this whole situation. Thank you for bringing this back to the root problem of not taking care of our health as a society. If the energy to create the message that is forcing us to social distance would be instead focus on educating of healthy eating habits, good sleep, solid relationships, and a healthy respect for God, Thank you for this episode filled with wisdom and empathy. You are an encouragement

    1. Josh, so glad to have you with us and spreading this message to make the world a healthier place. Myself and the entire team here receive every word you just said! Let’s keep spreading the good word together.


The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family is Health

When you gather your family around the table to share nutritious food, you’re not only spending quality time with them - you’re setting them up for success in all areas of their lives.

The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes, plus the latest science to support the mental, physical and social health of your loved ones.

Eat Smarter Family Cookbook


The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes + the latest science to support your family’s mental, physical, and social health all in one place.

A family that eats together, thrives together.

Order the cookbook and get an amazing bonus today!