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.
Reflections on being stuck in the pre-post COVID era
You know that feeling when you have so many other things on your plate that you need to be dealing with, other than that pandemic you can’t seem to shake?
Something tells me you do.
We have some crazy 21st century things that no one in history has ever had to face!!
Imagine trying to explain to a soldier from Ancient Rome the frustrating feeling when your phone has been plugged in all night, but as you pick it up to run out the door you see somehow it only has a 3% charge!
Might not go over so well.
Am I right?
But seriously, we are in unprecedented territory.
This century has brought us some unique challenges, for sure.
Case in point: during an interview at the beginning of the week, Elon Musk warned that using new technologies which will let people live longer — or perhaps, forever — may actually be a really bad idea. Hear him out.
“It is important for us to die because most of the time people don’t change their mind, they just die,” Musk said. “If you live forever, we might become a very ossified society where new ideas cannot succeed.”
The fact that that this is even a topic lets you know the fortitude needed to face what is coming. Not to mention that his comment surely indicates that the projects working on longevity (aka immortality) are further along than you or I could imagine.
Having an opinion on whether or not we should die is such a 21st century idea.
This reminds me of the first time I came face to face with something like this, something that sharply points to the direction we are going and which is becoming more and more apparent.
In the early 2000’s at a medical conference there was a keynote speaker who spoke about IBM Watson and its potential to be a part of healthcare delivery. He had to reassure the crowd of doctors several times that they should not feel threatened. Watson wasn’t trying to take over their jobs, he reassured us, as if knew he had to. It was just going to take over the thinking part.
And, do we even want to wade into the virtual reality Meta-verse being created by Facebook? I don’t really.
These examples make the pandemic look so old fashioned (but still formidable).
We have to get through this Pandemic to get on to these other issues. And there are others; besides wondering if computers can cheat death or take over healing or enhance our sense world, converting to digital currency and ending online anonymity are on the docket.
Whatever you think about technology and the policy surrounding it, these big shifts always drive me to define clearly what we need to defend, what is imperative to preserve.
First of all we should recognize the earth as a living organism, and what’s more, recognize that the human race as a part of the same organism.
We should take care of the earth, and recognize that it can only be understood in context of the planets around it. Let’s expand the frame a bit.
We should recognize that in the same fashion the human being cannot be understood out of the context of its community, which includes
the cosmos surrounding it
the entire earth
other humans on the earth, and also
all the organisms on the earth, great and small
This will teach us a lot. For example, no intervention can be deemed safe without measuring its early and late effects in these different fields, including its effects on the microbiome, earth’s health, and other non immediately noticeable areas of action.
The explosion of asthma, allergic disorders, autoimmune diseases as well as neurologic disorders (ADD, autism, speech and language disorders) over the last four decades can be traced to changes that can be measured in the microbiome. Processed food, the chemical industry, medications all need to be studied for how they alter our gut flora.
In the meantime, seek ways to counterbalance the onslaught of changes that come with modern life, and preserve the microbiome. The short list would include:
eating really good quality food (organic or, better yet, biodynamic)
minimizing processed food (packaged of any sort)
minimizing chemicals in house cleaning products and personal hygiene products
adopt good detox habits- make sure these pathways are open (sweating, eliminating, etc)
Most importantly we have to remember that the human being has a spiritual nature. Our only choice with interfacing with technology is to deepen our understanding of our spiritual nature so we don’t get lost in the machines. We are going to need guidance that can only come from this knowledge.
We need to learn how to be the citizen in this crazy time. Much to learn. But school is always in session!
Glad to be in it with you!
Covid numbers update
The Berkshire case load tallies around 550 cases these last seven days. This is down from a total of about 600 the last two weeks, but still high. The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the factors.
The Massachusetts 7 day average has risen sharply this last week. We are up to 3500-4000 cases per day. 40% of these are breakthrough cases.
Nationally, the seven-day-average has also jumped up to 120K for the last two weeks (from 90K the prior two weeks).
People fare best with early detection of COVID. (Monoclonal antibodies, supplemental support, etc).
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.