Updates on the Pandemic

2001, on this date, I can remember vividly the moment I heard about what was happening in NYC… In loving remembrance of all the lives lost.

Humans hurting humans, falling short of our true capacity. I’m feeling our true potential calling us. It’s what gets me up in the morning and runs my motor all day.

Practice Announcement

As of Friday, September 4th, Jessica Christensen, NP extraordinaire, has transitioned to working for Berkshire Center for Whole Health in a remote fashion. Working from home has become an option during the pandemic with the allowance for telehealth visits (i.e. phone, Zoom). Jess has made the decision to be in eastern MA, closer to where she was raised. It’s a decision that she has been considering for a while. She will continue on for the present time providing telehealth visits and being involved full-time in the care of our patients.

Jessica has been a valuable member of our team for 4 years and her presence around the office will be sorely missed. This transition period is somewhat open-ended. I have begun the process to find the perfect candidate to fill her big shoes. We will try to find someone who is as caring and as thorough and as considerate as she is. It ain’t gonna be easy! Many of you have already joined me in lamenting seeing less of her, but we are grateful for the time we have had and will still have with her on the team. As far as how things will change, we will strive to make your experience with us as complete and seamless as ever.

Updates on the Pandemic

Our neck of the Woods:

The case count over the last week is back into a more favorable range in the county and across the state. Berkshire County’s rate is amongst the finest in the country with less than 1 case per 100,000 population per day.  The state is back into the top ten (#7) ranking for states with least COVID incidence.

Perspective on lessons learned thus far

I took the time to step back and see what we have learned thus far in the treatment category. Yes, we all have our favorite supportive things when we have a cold or flu, whether it be a homeopathic remedy, Dr Schnuffie’s herbal compilation or a swig of Fire Cider. And, we all know how to rest and drink fluids. But COVID can hit hard and there could be a time when we want specific help and the best of what we have learned so far.

So here is an update on what we find when we review the top things that we have learned from our experience with sick folks with COVID.  Here is a review of what doctors across the world are thinking about for their patients:

Most important considerations for non-hospitalized patients:

Top two things:

  • Vitamin D level above 30 is a goal and has been shown to be helpful. There’s nothing like soaking up a little sun every day.  A supplement is good when you can’t get a little daily dose from the weakening late year Sun.
  • Zinc is good to take when in an exposure situation or when first diagnosed. It is more effective when given with something that helps it enter the cells like green tea extract (or a short course of hydroxychloroquine).

Have these around.  Many people are taking these 2 as a preventative.

Other interesting items

  • Pepcid has been showing some promise to be a help. One small study reported people reporting a quicker recovery on Pepcid.  This all stemmed from the observations from China that Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who’d been taking Pepcid were dying at about half the rate of those not taking the drug, 14% versus 27%. I don’t think I would give Pepcid to every new case of COVID I encountered because it hasn’t been properly studied yet, but I would want everyone to know that it should be considered.
  • Blood thinners for those infected are important. A question we all have is whether a baby aspirin makes sense when you get infected.  Again, not studied but we are seeing that the blood vessels are affected and clots are common. Some mild blood thinning seems reasonable…with the advice of your doctor.

Experimental things

  • Ozone and injectable peptide therapies. It’s too much to go into right now, but we are researching them. Interesting anecdotal evidence on these.

The main idea is to take the oath to do no harm seriously and choose things that have a very low potential to cause harm and avoid risky things, especially when many people will get better of their own devices.

In any case, these are the interventions to consider.

There are also some hospital-level interventions that are worth mentioning briefly as a recap.

  1. Not using intubation and ventilators right away.
  2. Prone positioning (lying in your stomach if in the hospital and having trouble breathing) is helpful.
  3. Remdesivir has been shown to help.
  4. Steroids help — this was a big discovery. It reversed the original thinking about steroids with COVID. Nobody can be sure if steroids help in milder cases. It’s a consideration but there isn’t data on it yet.
  5. Blood thinners — as discussed above.  Even more important for hospitalized patients.

What do you think so far?

Doctor, do you have anything with a little more interest? It’s like a science class around here… or a CNN article! And more pictures, please!

You asked for it…

Beethoven turns 250 this year, and it really interests me, in relation to the Pandemic

Let me explain.

2020 is so unlike any year any of us have ever experienced. The fact that Beethoven has an epic landmark Birthday this in December of this year has to be noted.

The challenges of this year spare nobody. There is loss and grief with any path. We all feel it. However, many of us know that painful times make profound change possible.

Many people have observed that the Pandemic has exposed what is at work and wrong in society, the government, our global approach. We’re off track in many ways. We are asleep to it. My message has been — yes, we are off track, but this very moment is the opportunity to awaken to our potential.

We are tasked with finding our way, through our own volition, through to our own power to affect change in our selves and in our lives and in the world, to be our best selves for each other. This is synonymous with Finding our FIRE.

Beethoven composed only one ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus. The ballet is described as an allegorical representation of man’s place in the universe.

Prometheus is the bringer of fire.

Beethoven wrote that music should strike fire from man. He added: ‘Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy; it is the wine of a new procreation and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for men and makes them drunk with the spirit.’

Beethoven clearly had a strong connection with Prometheus, the bringer of spiritual fire to man!

One essay says about the maestro:

Until the end of the eighteenth century composers had been musicians in the service of the nobility, fulfilling duties for church and court. After he left Bonn in 1792, Beethoven never held a permanent musical appointment. He became one of the first successful freelance musicians, relying upon commissions but not employed by any wealthy patron.
The composer became an independent creator, a law unto himself, regarded by many as godlike, superhuman, existing on a plane above mere mortals — a Promethean giant.

On our own, exercising our own gifts to make the world a better place. Independent and passionate. The fire helps us find our way. This is the theme of the Pandemic, if we can find our spiritual fire. This path was forged by the great Ludwig van Beethoven and lives on in his music.


What’s with a number?

Per a quick numerology review, the significance of 250, when we account or the 2 and the 5 and the 0 and the 7 (2+5+0), yields something like this:

Imagine being intuitively connected to ancient wisdom inside yourself and knowing yourself in relation to that wisdom. Relationships, whether coexisting, part of a team, or emotional, are cherished. You feel uninhibited about expressing your sense of personal freedom. And you feel you have infinite potential.

That’s 250. That’s Big for right now. That would change some things.  Intuitive understanding, healthy relationships, freedom and potential. We could use a whole lot of that!