Déjà vu to Summer

Welcome to summer and the predictability of the seasons despite the changes in our lives.   It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere, with 15.5 hours of sunlight in Minnesota today, the summer solstice. The stray kitties—that we fed throughout the long, frigid winter—arrive at our doorstep for a sunrise breakfast (5:30 am) and roam with the lone turkey and deer, chase the ever-present squirrels, and keep their distance from the early evening raccoon family of five that scavenges left-over cat food, before sauntering off to wherever they hide away for rest and respite from predators (coyote night-roamer) and the elements (100+ degrees with 91% humidity this week). They have their routine and we have ours [...]

2022-06-24T20:27:57-04:00June 21st, 2022|Categories: COVID-19, Health, Summer|Tags: , , , , |

Making COVID Choices When the Options are Slim

Linear wave with dots and lines moving in space. istock photo by Maksym Kaplun I chose Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody to prevent COVID in immunocompromised people. I reacted and now my options are slim. How are you staying well? Paying Attention to Patterns   I often told my students that three points make a better line than two when analyzing research data. And if they were seriously invested, four points make an even stronger case for predicting trends or outcomes. That’s generally true, especially if the connect-the-dot line is linear. I’ve just completed a single case study (me) that included four monoclonal antibody injections over the past year (three against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein), and [...]

I Try Not to Have Any (As Many) Expectations

I try not to have expectations for the book’s success, but authors write to be read. I have learned, however, to let go of outcomes I can’t control. Letting go of expectations allows us to be present in the moment. Friends ask me how my book, Standing at Water’s Edge, is selling now that it has been out in the world for a few months. “I don’t really know,” I say. And it’s true. From what I understand, publishers share sales data (through royalty checks) once or twice a year. Amazon shares ranking data, but you can’t put a number on that. I have a paid subscription to NPD BookScan through Publishers Marketplace, so I can [...]

2022-03-26T21:32:02-04:00March 26th, 2022|Categories: Books, Expectations, Health, Letting Go|Tags: , , , , |

Making Sense of Chaos: How our Brain and Immune System Respond to COVID-19 and Stress

Socrates contemplating, By Anastasios71 on Shutterstock COVID-19 and emotional stress trigger inflammatory immune responses. And then our brain changes. It does matter what we think and how we process events in our life. What has your month been like? Were you able to focus on something important to you or do something fun and energizing? Did you accomplish what you intended to this month? My May 1 calendar note read, “Make sense of chaos.” I don’t remember what was going on astrologically to trigger this directive, but this was the month’s message for me. I set out with intention. A year ago in May, we lived in a peak of uncertainty with rising COVID-19 [...]

When Life Interferes with Expectations

Photo by Anoir Chafik on Unsplash When life interferes with expectations, reflect and regroup, and then put one foot in front of the other with purpose and direction. Trust that you will find your way. Expectations After almost four months of not walking outside, I spontaneously slip out of my sheepskin-lined slippers and into my tennis shoes, grab a windbreaker and my house key, and confidently walk out the door. As I carefully step up onto the parkway trail across the street from my house, I take a deep breath and inhale the damp spring air. The trees bordering the spring-fed pond are just starting to bud; polka dots of green splatter the barren, [...]

Why Some People Won’t Get Vaccinated and How to Fix That – Guest Post by Brennan R. White

Today’s guest post is by Podcaster Brennan R. White @Explainthenews. To listen to the podcast, go to Podcasts - Explain The News. Vaccine hesitancy, istock photo With COVID-19 vaccination rates falling for the first time, and supply beginning to outpace demand in the United States, the quest for herd immunity is getting more difficult. Twenty percent of the country is reportedly hesitant—but potentially willing—to get vaccinated. What are their reservations, and what will help them overcome their hesitancy? As of today, 54 percent of adults in the United States have received at least one vaccine dose, and 37 percent are fully vaccinated. Recent polling suggests that just 60 percent want to get vaccinated, so [...]

COVID-19 Interrupted Life: How Will You Move On?

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash Life, Interrupted:  Everyone, it seems, is reflecting on the first year of the pandemic. What’s your takeaway on how this past year has affected you, your life? I resisted but finally took twenty minutes to jot down how my routines changed (very little, other than no travel or coffee dates) and how the circumstances influenced my perspective, attitude, mood, and energy (anyone else block out the first four months?). Whether or not you even care to look back, most of us will concur that life has been interrupted. The one we were familiar with, anyway. And the changes we’ve had to make are dragging on, far longer than [...]

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My: Overcoming Distractions and Fears

Shutterstock by Francey, Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road in a Dark and Spooky Forest In the 1939 classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, the Tin Man, and Scarecrow confront their fears in the dark and scary forest as they travel along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. Witches and wild animals—and all sorts of imagined risks—lurk in the darkness. Lion jumps out and reminds them they need courage, along with a brain and a heart. Together, arms linked, they set off on the path to reach their individual goals. Were you missing any of these essential comrades on your journey through 2020? Did you make informed decisions, connect to your [...]

2021-01-18T11:06:16-05:00January 18th, 2021|Categories: 2021, Health, Psychology, Resilience, Survival|Tags: , , , , |

COVID-19 in Children: Low Risk but High Stakes

Photo by Atoms on Unsplash Most children with COVID-19 have mild illness, with 0.5 to 6.1% hospitalized in the U.S. The risks may be low, but the stakes are high. And the numbers aren’t important when it’s your child in the hospital bed.   REALITY More than 1 million children have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States. And that’s only the ones who have been tested. Many children go undiagnosed because they have no symptoms or mild illness. I get it—why put kids through an uncomfortable nasal swab if they “aren’t that sick?” Anyone with symptoms needs to stay home anyway. Thankfully, severe illness in children with COVID-19 is rare. And yet, [...]

2020-11-21T21:04:28-05:00November 21st, 2020|Categories: Children, COVID-19, Health|
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