Happy weekend. Last month of 2020. December. Much to process and to be thankful for.
1) Self-care and the Ever Changing Science of COVID-19 – This has been a week of COVID awareness becoming more personally as we lost a dear old friend to COVID and have family friends in another country battling it. We are wise to do what we can to keep it away, without giving way to the media-induced hysteria it can also bring.
The most comprehensive and accessible clinical information for all of us has come from a 39-page article by Dr. Paul Marik, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine. This article is updated periodically so if you click on and don’t find it just search for EVMS Critical Care COVID-19 Management Protocol. It covers the prevention of COVID-19 right through to the critical management of COVID patients with life-threatening disease. The article is definitely written for the clinician, but the most salient points can be understood by any of us.
Below are his current recommendations for prevention (p. 6):
- Masks, social distancing, and avoidance of large groups of people.
- Vitamin D3 1000-3000 iu/day. Note RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is 800-1000 iu/day.
- Vitamin C 500 mg BID (twice daily) and Quercetin 250 mg daily. There are some exceptions to the use of Quercetin, so read his article.
- Melatonin (slow release): Begin with 0.3 mg and increase as tolerated to 2 mg at night.
- Zinc 30-50 mg/day (elemental zinc).
- B complex vitamins.
- Ivermectin for postexposure prophylaxis. 200 ug/kg (12 mg) immediately then repeat day 3.
- •Ivermectin for pre-exposure prophylaxis and for prophylaxis in high risk individuals (> 60 years with co-morbidities, morbid obesity, long term care facilities, etc). 150-200 ug/kg (or 12 mg) Day 1, Day 3 and then every 4 weeks. Ivermectin has a number of potentially serious drug-drug interactions.
- Optional: Famotidine 20-40 mg/day.
- Optional/Experimental: Interferon-α nasal spray for health care workers.
Photo Credit: Screenshot, Paul Marik’s EVMS Critical Care COVID-19 Management Protocol
2) Christmas Canstructions – Movement Church prepared an Advent calendar of readings in the Psalms. It is also a prompt to respond to the food scarcity issue for some of our city’s residents. One item a day through the month of December.
I love canstructions, so we made one with our gathered food.
3) Navy Seal Clint Bruce’s Elites –The word “elite” has taken on an unsavory meaning in my vocabulary this year. Seeing too much of small groups of people with enormous political clout, manipulating outcomes and moving public opinion…changing the foundational values of our country. OK…then I heard Navy Seal veteran Clint Bruce talk about being elite, as a much more positive other-focused position or attitude. Check out the short podcast below for the basics:
How to Train the Mind with Clint Bruce – Jennie Allen Podcast
Bruce talked about what it means to be elite vs. excellent. Excellent is a mentality of “done” or “arrived”. Elite is to know you’re “not done”…understanding there is always more to learn, more preparation, more experience.
He speaks (on YouTube and in numerous podcasts – look them up) about five “pursuit points” of being elite.
- Balanced – creating a high ground (faith, family, friends) for hard days because they will come
- Curious – doing the work of finding out what more you need to know
- Tribal – aiming at something bigger than themselves; needing people
- Intentional – knowing the why of whatever they’re doing
- Authentic – real; in the light; preaching from their pain and sharing their scars.
These are just five of the points he makes and then goes into greater depth in his teaching (two talks are linked below in YouTube).
YouTube Video – Clint Bruce – Pursuing Elite: Leadership Lessons
YouTube Video – Clint Bruce Keynote – Pursuing Elite – the Five Gifts of Elite Achievers
He puts interesting twists on familiar words. He defines precision, for instance, as “not being right more but being wrong less”. Also, his definition of endurance is “being wrong less for longer than your competitor”. He also talks about discipline as being “reduction” – learning what the mission doesn’t need, so you become more agile.
Bruce referenced this scene from the film Act of Valor. It’s beautiful.
4) Seasonal Kindnesses – A new book by the Voskamp Family has sparked a new adventure of watching for and executing acts of kindness through this month of December. We are using a little star to cue up kindnesses. If I have the star, I do a kindness (or more) for another family member, and then leave that star in their home space. They then take the next 24 hours to do the same for someone else.
Seasonal (Christmas) kindnesses are such a refreshment. People going out of their way to treat others with a kind word or service. Here are just a few that have lifted my heart. Use the Comments to share some of your own heart-lifts this season.
[Also don’t let these be a negative when your capacity is stretched about as far as it can be. Enjoy kindnesses coming your way. Even a smile crinkles through a COVID mask, or a word of gratitude is enough to lift the spirits of others.]
- Mike is one of our faithful delivery guys. Excellent and kind in all he does.They deserve special treats and some sweet folks make sure they have them (I confess it isn’t me…but it has inspired me).
#ThanksForDelivering – UPS Coloring Sheets
- You know those people who, no matter when you show up, they offer you a snack or even a small plate to nourish your body and soul?
- My 5 y/o granddaughter remarked recently when seeing a neighbor’s yard, “She’s so festive!” Fun and festive! Thankful for all the work that goes into bringing some extra light into our dark winter nights:
- Those friends and family who still send Christmas cards, little presents through the mail, and even a tea break:
- Times together tempered by COVID restrictions:
- Brunch geared toward grandchildren – them telling jokes to each other
- Christmas brunch with friends – provision made for those of us (more COVID-vulnerable) to hang together outside, warmed by a fire pit and a bowl of chili. S’mores station for dessert.
5) A Call to More Than Politics – This weekend President Trump comes to my beloved home state, Georgia. Another huge rally. Some are reporting this may be his last big rally as President of the United States. Do we look to him for hope? Do we look to the next administration for hope? “Evangelical Christians”, as a political bloc, have taken some heat over the last four years for their/our perceived support of our current President.
As an evangelical Christian, I will take the heat…not for any party’s benefit at keeping us divided, but because of the worthiness of Christ. Our greatest hope is not in either political party. Our greatest hope, which, by the way, will never be disappointed, is in the Kingdom of God, the worthy reign of our Messiah. What is our hope? To infuse our lives, to overflowing, with the Good News and great goodness of God Almighty. He is for us. Let’s get our heads and hearts right and stand for Him…as we reach our hands out to all around us. No government can do what He means to happen in this world – for our good and His glory.
Photo Credit: Len Lacroix, Seeking the Lord
If My People Who Are Called By My Name – Len Lacroix
This medley by the worship community Tribl says it all through the songs Is He Worthy?, Agnus Dei, and We Fall Down:
“Covid ended our marriage”: The Couples Who Split in the Pandemic – Emma Ailes
Songs of Hope: A TGC Advent Concert
With all the hard this year, there must have been a huge harvest of Honeycrisp apples. Look at this price!
Here’s to all those gardeners out there (my husband being my favorite) who tend their gardens through the winter to bring beauty all year round. Those behind-the-scenes people in our lives – yay!