Oh my Omicron!

Welcome to the newest and most insane edition of Berkshire Whole Health’s Weekly Bulletin! — where we think Greek letters for SARS CoV-2 variants are as interesting as Greek Temple sites-ie, very interesting.

Temple of Apollo at Delphi

In this week’s edition we have:

  1. Oh my Omicron!
  2. Reflection on Equanimity
  3. The COVID Numbers Update

Omicron

You want to know what I find most interesting about the Omicron variant? It’s greatly advancing my knowledge of the greek alphabet! There apparently is a greek letter named Omicron. Fascinating! I’ve never heard that name before. It means little O (micro O) as opposed to OMEGA (the big O). Aren’t we having so much fun?

The news of the new variant came on like a bat out of hell (pardon the pun) after Thanksgiving with talk about:

  • more transmissibility than Delta
  • possible immune escape 
  • closing doors to South Africa 
  • worldwide spread
  • boosters for everybody 

It’s all speculative. Symptoms with Omicron could be milder (!) , we are stating to hear. A more transmissible, milder form of COVID? A godsend?

By the way, that is the general trend with novel microbes in a scenario like this. Their evolution tends to involve decreasing virulence and increasing transmissibility. So while the alarm bells from the media are sounding we should remember what this really is: an invitation for an exercise in:

Equanimity

Equanimity is one of the universal answers that fits well in any situation.

Whether in the end, Omicron is good news or bad news, equanimity will carry you through intact. It won’t deny you emotion- it anchors you while the universe’s emotional ups and downs vie for your attention.

But you have to practice.

Equanimity means staying tethered to the middle. Not going out to far, not getting too worked up: not losing yourself.  There’s a real virtue in remembering yourself when the winds of chaos whip up.

It’s true, Omicron might be a monstrous challenge or the answer to our prayers. Or a little bit of both. Equanimity acknowledges that no thing is good or bad alone, it’s what we make of it.

I think equanimity also helps stay true to the mission of kindness.

Some argue a lack of vaccine penetrance is what drives the development of the variants. Counter that with those who argue vaccinating the whole population during a pandemic is what provides the evolutionary pressure leading to accelerated viral variant selection.

Whether you align with the idea that vaccines should be mandated or with the idea that mandates are troublesome, you will have more access to kindness if you practice equanimity.

Have an opinion, work for good in the world, and through equanimity don’t lose sight of the good you seek due to blinding passion for the path you chose to establish the good.

By the way, equanimity will help us eliminate fear which drives us to inhumane territory if we don’t transform it.

Covid numbers update

  • The Berkshire case load tallies over 600!cases these last seven days, the highest week ever. Gracious! This is up from a total of about 500 last week and 400 the week before.
  • The Massachusetts 7 day average has been steady these last two weeks at around 2,300 cases per day.
  • Nationally, the seven-day-average has also been steady at just under 90K for the last two weeks.
  • Feeling ill? People fare best with early detection of COVID. (Monoclonal antibodies, supplemental support, and support from homeopathic remedies). 
  • Need a test for Flu and/or COVID? Call us, we have them. Or use a BHS testing center near you. Appointments are required at all BHS locations. Call 855-262-5465 for a BHS test for you or a guest or visit berkshirepatientportal.com.
    • Pittsfield COVID-19 Testing Center at 505 East St. is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • The North Adams COVID-19 Testing Center at 98 Church St. is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Fairview Hospital at 29 Lewis Ave. in Great Barrington is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Just because you have a vaccine doesn’t mean you can’t catch and spread COVID. Be smart ’til this wave passes. And be sure it will. Look at Florida and the South. They are through their surge, which come and go.

Thanks for tuning in!

Best wishes on your day’s journey!