I believe that medicine’s potential is much more than the version we see in the world today. A doctor should be an educator with the goal of bringing patients to a place of deeper understanding of who they are in the world. To me, medicine is ultimately about self-empowerment through self-knowledge and growth.
Another big week! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, it did. Butbuyer beware, if you you’re not really careful, the News threatens to knock you out of balance. Here’s some help organizing it:
FIRST, There’s the things you couldn’t have missed in the news this week.
National and local numbers are experiencing an uptick. It’s not drastic or overwhelming, but it isn’t letting up, that’s for sure.
Death count mounts, hits milestones: 200,000 American deaths; that’s 20% of the 1 million deaths worldwide
Supreme Court icon passes away creating vacant seat (all of a sudden the heats turns up. But I thought it was already too hot!). Thank you for your unmatched service, RBG!
Then there’s the thing that has been looming for a long time… and is getting closer!
The Political Election! Eeek! It’s been said that there are three kinds of truths:
Personal truth — true for the individual in their life
Objective truth — universally true
Political truth — true because it is incessantly repeated
Ain’t that the sad… truth.
Lastly: There’s the news that makes you cringe maybe more than the others.
What do you do when the majority of the country is leaning against getting the vaccine? When the even larger numbers think your vaccine is politically driven?
You try to build confidence by being transparent. That’s just what Moderna and Pfizer did this week. They released the study protocols behind their vaccine trials to build confidence and alleviate anxiety.
The only problem is that they stoked anxieties! Those in the field who reviewed the released information say the clinical trials have been designed to ensure the greatest possible success for the vaccines — and that could overstate their effectiveness. This was reported this week by the Washington Post!
This was my reaction:
When I calmed down I (cynically) imagined the drug companies thinking, “What’s with the big reaction? That’s what we do! That’s what everyone does: set it up to look good. There’s a lot of money, er… and lives, at stake.”
Do they even know how to not stack the decks?
So, freeze it right there. Power down the engines, Scotty.
Here’s the question, the million dollar question:
What do you do when the news has you feeling totally overwhelmed, and impotent?
Well, as I see it you have two possibilities.
First, (and this is what I am going to do) you could buy a new toy. I had a long conversation this week with my medical supply consultants. What I hear is that the $15 five minute rapid antigen tests are being brought up by the government. They bought 150 million of them and somehow plan to use them in schools. It is suggested that a negative antigen test be confirmed by a molecular (PCR) test, anyway.
So, I am looking to buy an Abbot ID Now, the In-house PCR-based COVID tester, gives results from a nasal swab in 15 minutes.
Let’s do this!
Why? Because I think we’re gonna be in this for a while and I think it’s an investment in you and in us. I think we will be well-positioned as a cohort for whatever could come. Fingers crossed that we can get it by November- that’s the time frame they gave me. It can run flu tests too.
The second thing you can do (and we can do this together right now) is opt to check in on news that’s grounded in eternity.
This week we passed through the Autumn Equinox, where the year inverts itself. We are leaving the the half of the year filled with light and warmth. Three months ago was our longest day. In three months we will have our shortest. And darkest.
And as we are slide into the dark and cold time of the year it’s difficult for many people. It feels like a crisis.
The objective truth is that when a door closes there is simultaneously one opening. Don’t miss the new opportunities at hand with too much focus on that which was lost.
One key to facing the challenge is to recognize that the natural world’s movements are not the whole picture.
If we include the human being in the picture of the course of the year we see something remarkable.
The poles of the year are not just opposites, they are true inversions of each other. Only when you include the human being, the crown jewel of creation, the thinking being, can you realize it.
When the light and warmth are present in the outer world, the human being’s inner life of thinking and reflection is relatively dark. When the light and warmth disappear from the natural world we are able to most deeply connect to the light inside of us.
Winter is archetypically a quiet, still, and pensive time. Summer, on the other hand, is for long days of work and sweat. The heat and humidity are not conducive to our best thinking, rather to doing. The jungle is not where you would want to sit and take a long written exam, for example. You want to take it in a cool, quiet place, with a an extra layer of clothing. That’s where we think best. If you’re going to give kids a break from school, you might as well choose summer, and we do!
Transition point in the year
During his time of year a re-orientation is demanded. The whole purpose of the festival of Michaelmas, which falls this week, is to instill courage to order the light and dark in the world.
The archangel Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, and is known as the conqueror of the dragon. He is the heavenly hero who gives strength to people.
Our trials awaken in us the awareness of the consequences of our own actions, and ask us to take responsibility for ourselves and the planet. And there is an actual battle between the forces for sensitivity, awareness and responsibility and those of self-interest, social divisiveness and materialism. But before you proclaim whose side you are on, let’s realize this battle is within each one of us. And is reflected in the turning of the year.
That’s the sort of news that I think is most fit to print.
We have a lot to do together, sorting out this dark and light; but, rest assured we aren’t going it alone.