Robin Rhine McDonald
As Covid-19 cases rise, leaders come together for sustainable health solution
**The following is a fictional rendition of an article I wish existed. References with citations are from real sources. See list below.**
Photo credit: Second Nature by Hand 
"Case numbers are surging throughout much of the United States, including in several states that were among the first to reopen. Because the number of people hospitalized and the percentage of people testing positive is also rising in many of those places, the case spike cannot be solely explained by increased testing. Still, coronavirus deaths remain well below their peak levels. And as some places reimpose restrictions, others continue to reopen their economies." - The New York Times, June 30th, 2019 
Until now, government officials and health experts have emphasized the importance of hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks, and staying home. Along with these mandates, "non-essential" businesses were shut down. In the past two months, these businesses have been slowly re-opening, given that they were able to stay in business.
With the recent rise in cases, leaders from all sides of the political arena are now considering new strategies for combating Covid-19.
"We have come to realize that the necessary steps needed to combat this virus and heal the mental, emotional, and economic wounds that have occurred thus far must address the underlying contributors to the chronic health crisis that is feeding our growing number of coronavirus cases." said Lucy Leftist, a United States public health official involved with the current coronavirus recommendations.
Senator Kenneth Conservative went on to say, "While there is still a lot that we do not know about this virus, there is much we have learned about how not to combat it.
This cannot be a fight between liberals and conservatives.
It cannot be about wearing masks or not wearing masks, though we will continue to recommend them.
It cannot be continued decimation to our economy and the collective mental health of our country.
The United States is 4% of the world population, yet we hold 25% of the coronavirus cases. 
We must acknowledge that our number of cases is a reflection of a non-health focused food system and a non-food focused health system.
Those who are at risk, who are being hospitalized, they are largely those with health complications from an unhealthy lifestyle.
It would be inappropriate for us as government officials to not accept responsibility for the lack of health of the vulnerable when considering the ways our government regulated food system perpetuates the increase of the at risk illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and Alzheimer's.
It's time we start making recommendations that promote the health of our citizens."
These conversations have resulted in several new strategies to address the pre-covid-19 pandemic of chronic disease and malnutrition. From a corporate, systemic approach, the following changes are now underway:
Shift government subsidies from corn, wheat, and soy to regenerative farm meats and produce.
Soda and other processed sugar beverages
Foods containing high fructose corn syrup
Use income from taxes to:
Re-evaluate resources in low income areas and establish health food stores as
Fund programs that provide made-in-house foods and snacks for schools
Fund research on nutrition that is not sponsored by special interest groups.
"It is not surprising that the risk factors for Covid-19 continue to increase in our population when the foods most readily available and highly marketed are also the most processed and most harmful options" said House Representative, Lionel Liberal Friday afternoon.
New recommendations for individuals are now including actions that go beyond avoiding a virus and into true physical health. The following will now be added to the list of hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing:
Drink half your body weight in ounces of water
Consume 1-2 half cup servings of vegetables at each meal
Sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night
List 3 things you're grateful for each day
Spend at least 15 minutes outside each day
Public health official, Renee Rightist said "There's no denying that actual physical health is declining outside of coronavirus cases. Depression, anxiety, and weight have all increased amongst the American people. There's more to health than not getting sick."
Leaders are hopeful that these changes will not only help reduce the number of cases of Covid-19, but also increase the overall health of the country and save millions in health care costs in the years to come.
What do you think? What other recommendations or systemic changes would improve our current situation?