1. App I’m using…
I’ve committed to daily meditation, which I do each morning. Like most people, my brain wanders, my thoughts never stop, and I need help with meditation. I am thrilled with Calm, a meditation app. I am currently doing a 30-day series on Calm called How to Meditate. I’m loving it! The guy guiding that course is Jeff Warren, and he does a really, really good job. I’ve tried other things to help with meditation, including another app called Headspace (which I did not care for), but Calm is the most helpful and best thing I’ve tried. The How to Meditate series is only 10-13 minutes each day. I believe it’s $14.99 per month, but I did the full year at $69.99. If you want to check it out you can try a free 7-day trial (click here for that offer). I believe meditation is a key component of the wellness equation. For me, guided meditation is critical. Having an app helps a ton. Check out Calm and other apps to find the one that you like best… and get your mindfulness on!
2. Book I read this week…
This week, I read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield. My son, Kyle, read it and gave it to me, telling me he thought I would really like it. Well… he was right. I did like it… and NEEDED it. From the back cover… “In this powerful, straight-from-the-hip examination of the internal obstacles to success, bestselling author, Steven Pressfield, shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity.” This is not your typical self-help book. Super easy read! I am not a fast reader, and I finished it in one week. This book will help give you a kick in your butt to get moving on whatever project, creation, or unfinished venture you’ve been procrastinating getting done. I will surely be gifting this book to friends in the future. (And I love that my son read it!) You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.
3. Issue I am most concerned about this week…
Obviously, the COVID vaccine is on everyone’s mind. I have taken a deep, deep dive into this issue, as I try to be as fully informed as possible before making ANY health decision. I can tell you that I have received more questions about this issue than ANY other issue in my 23 years as a health care provider. Obviously, there is a scope of practice within which I am legally bound, and I do not violate that. So, as with any issue surrounding drugs, including this experimental vaccine, I cannot, and would not, tell someone whether or not they should get the vaccine. One of the most common question I hear is… are you going to get the vaccine? The best thing I can do here is answer that question and give you my reasons. I will NOT be getting the COVID vaccine at this time. There are many reasons why I will pass on it, but I’ve decided to list just five…
1. These are experimental vaccines with too many unknowns for me at this time. The words safe and effective are being used consistently, but these vaccines are so new, we truly do not know the long term safety or effectiveness, which is my personal biggest concern.
2. These vaccines have not been shown to protect against contracting the virus or spreading the virus, which I believe creates incredible limits in regards to their benefits and impact.
3. My personal risk of death due to this virus is so low that taking an experimental vaccine with so many unknowns does not outweigh the possible benefit of a reduction in symptoms.
4. My declining the vaccine has no impact on those around me. Because these vaccines do not reduce transmission of the virus, I pose no more or less risk to others. (I’ve heard teachers and grandparents say that they would take it to protect their students or their grandchildren, but these vaccines do not offer protection to anyone but the person getting the shots.)
5. I have the option of changing my mind as more data shows up over the next several months.
If I share videos, articles, or other resources on this topic, it will appear that I am trying to convince you of something. To be honest, while I worry about the outcome of such a large-scale experiment, I fully respect everyone persons right to make his or her own choice. I have patients that are declining the shots, and some that are excited to get it. Because I do not know the long-term outcomes of these vaccines (no one does), it would be silly for me to applaud or criticize any other person’s decision. I have had teachers, nurses, and other professionals express that they are being pressured, incentivized, and even bullied (a word one nurse used) into getting the vaccine. I believe this is unacceptable, because, as I stated earlier, a friend or co-worker getting the shots does not affect the risk of those around him/her. The only person benefitting from the shots is the one getting the shot.
So… as issues like this often have emotions override science and fact, if you disagree with anything I have said, note that I am sharing factual information and my own personal beliefs. My decision does not have to be your decision. What you do has no bearing on me. What I do has no bearing on you. With such a serious matter, I would definitely encourage you to ask a lot of questions, use a variety of sources when investigating, and make sure that you are fully comfortable with whatever choice you make. I have reached out to researchers, scientists, medical doctors, infectious disease experts, listened to podcasts, read articles, and watched videos from resources on both sides of this issue to help ensure I get the most complete information possible.
*Be aware that censorship is absolutely, positively going on right now. I have seen information pulled down from multiple social media platforms these past several months–information that was valid, scientific, and far from extreme. This is very concerning issue.