Pandemic 2.0 has arrived

I don’t have a high amount of fear most days of my life. What about you? Can you recognize when fear hits you?

As a result of working hard to recognize my emotions as they move through my body, I’ve become more aware when fear grips me. Fear gripped me tight on Sunday, August 8th when I read this post by Lissa Rankin, MD who I’ve been following for many years. She’s been a source of wise, calm, wisdom during this pandemic. In this article she publishes a letter by virologist, immunologist, front-line COVID ICU physician Rick Loftus, MD. 

Action steps

photo by torstensimon from pixabay

The article is full of action steps and it raises awareness about what is happening in our world right now as a result of the variants, specifically the delta variant, of COVID-19. The piece is full of very sobering information about the delta variant – yes, it’s very, very contagious as the viral load is super high. Masks work, but they need to be fitted VERY close to your face. KN95 and N95 masks are best, not those flimsy blue disposable masks and not floppy cloth masks that don’t sit close to your face. 

Get the vaccination

Dr. Loftus again reminded all of us who’ve followed along to be sure our immune systems are as healthy and ready as possible. One ESSENTIAL step is to GET THE VACCINATION!!

You may have guessed, as a two time survivor of cancer and a 40 year survivor of someone living with type 1 diabetes, I am a big believer in the COVID-19 vaccination. I got mine in March and April, so I have about two months until I hit the 6 month mark. I’m hoping I can get a booster vaccination in early October. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Only near vaccinated people who are also willing to wear masks when indoors

I have had and will continue to have the personal policy of only being near people who I know are vaccinated. If I’m in a situation where I don’t know if people are vaccinated, I will for sure be masked and I will maintain at least a 10 foot distance between us. 

I was having some intense neck pain due to dental work I needed, so I sought out a new chiropractor. Over the course of three visits she 100% fixed my neck, however, I learned she’s against vaccinations and hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 and in addition to that she doesn’t believe in masking. Needless to say, once I sorted all that out, I discontinued my care with her. 

Immune system strength

Dr. Loftus has a lot of great analysis and advice in this article. It’s so full of wise guidance, I have so far read this piece more than 8 times. It’s taken me a while to digest all he is saying in the article. 

One key thing he says is, Your vaccination is like a hand shield, not a full suit of armor. If your goal is to avoid infection (and I advise for now, it should still be your goal), do not rely on vaccination alone to protect you. Use high quality masks and other sensible measures, per below.” The article goes on to list a number of things each of us can control. 

Actions to take – pay attention to what you can control

Flowers remind me to breathe deeply and relax

I feel a bit like I did before the vaccination, meaning, I am regrouping and reassessing. There are a lot of things each of us can do in our daily lives to keep our bodies healthy and well. 

In terms of supporting my immune system, I am again even more vigilant about the food I’m eating. I am keeping processed food, sugar, dairy, and meat to a minimum. I am eating lots of healthy fruit and at least 8 servings of vegetables every day. I make sure I meditate every day, move my body everyday and get 8-9 hours of sleep every night. 

Throughout the day, I stand up and stretch and breathe deeply, reminding my body and soul that I’m safe, that I’m healthy and that I have a strong community. These simple, solid actions remind me that at this moment I am healthy. 

Supportive supplements

Upon the guidance of Dr. Loftus and other trusted sources, there are a few supplements I am taking. 

Here they are for reference:

  • Quercetin with bromelain, 500 mg, twice a day. This is seasonal support for respiratory function. I feel good taking this one in particular. 
  • Zinc every day, I use liquid concentrate from Eidon
  • Vitamin D: Come fall when I’m not out in the sun, I will again make sure I’m taking 2000 units of Bio-D-Mulsion Vitamin D. I have a tendency to be deficient in vitamin D, so it’s critical I keep on top of that. 
  • Melatonin: Every night, I take 10mg of melatonin. 

Nasal spray

I am adding to my routine the nasal spray XClear, which has grapefruit seed extract, which has antiviral traits. I will use this nasal spray on days I plan to go to the gym or anytime I will be indoors with other people. 

Turns out the nose is where COVID-19 most gets into our bodies. Dr. Loftus thinks better COVID vaccines will be given by nasal spray rather than shots.

I find that very interesting as we now have nasal insulin. Our noses are important! 

Effective masks

I am back to wearing masks whenever I am indoors with other people. There was about a month, during late June and July, when I stopped wearing a mask when grocery shopping or at the gym. 

Now I’m back to masks. I’ve upgraded from cloth masks. Now I’m wearing N95 masks, which are at the moment readily available.  Here is an excellent article by the University of Minnesota Health and Safety department on mask fit and effectiveness.

The best fit that they (the University of Minnesota College of Design) found, in terms of commercially available products, is this N95: https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Aura-Particulate-Respirator-N95-Foldable-10-Pack-9205P-10-DC/316909322.

Upon the advice of Dr. Loftus, I purchased and am using Livinguard cloth masks, which have electrostatic fibers woven into the cloth; can be washed and reused (unlike N95 and KN95 masks); and based on German evaluation, Livinguard masks confer protection equal to a KN95.

Fear subsided

After spending nearly a week thinking about this delta variant and figuring out what I can control and what I can’t, the final thing in this article that surprisingly offered calmness, was Dr. Loftus’ statement, “we are all likely to be exposed and possibly infected with delta, sooner or later.”

He goes on to say, “With Delta, while this fall and winter look uncomfortably like last year to me, with possibly substantial deaths in the unvaccinated, mostly, the silver lining is that the time to endemicity may be as quick now as one more year only.” 

Gratefulness

Gratitude Journal

I will continue my daily gratitude practice. Before falling asleep, I write down at least 10 things from the day for which I am grateful. Often I thank the universe and myself for my strong, healthy body. 

These days, I’m extra grateful that my supervisor at my University of Minnesota job encouraged me to file a disability request to work from home. I did that in July and until COVID is no longer a threat, I have official permission to work from home. Luckily my job is easily done from home, where I am safe. 

Are you feeling safe these days? I sure hope so. Sending love to everyone. Thanks for reading. 

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9 thoughts on “Pandemic 2.0 has arrived”

    • I am indeed a fan of taking complex information and helping make it usable and helpful!! You do that too for so many. I appreciate that about you very much Linda!

      Reply
  1. “New better” hopefully… I’d love to see more empathy and consideration for others become part of the community fabric. Until then, megadosing with vitamin C, masks and hand washing it is! Thanks for the mask related links. I’ve gone from fashionable masks with filter inserts to paper (double in some settings) so I can thank them and toss them instead of dragging potential germs into the house.

    Reply
    • I agree Christine, more empathy and consideration for others woven into our community fabric is an aspiration I too hope for! Your plan sounds most excellent for the meanwhile! May you stay healthy!! Talk soon my friend!

      Reply
  2. I had no idea that there was such a thing as nasal insulin! I’m gonna have to look for that nasal spray you are using.
    Remember when we were first diagnosed and the nurses and doctors kept saying “This is your new normal” ? I seriously think that masks, disinfectant wipes, gloves, disinfectant sprays, and social distancing will be our new normal for at least a few years. This thing isn’t going away anytime soon. Wise to stay diligent.
    Stay safe and stay active! Love you!

    Reply
    • Linda, it’s amazing! That nasal insulin!! A few type 1’s I know use it to help with high blood sugars, as apparently it acts quickly and will bring blood sugar down quickly. I do indeed remember the “new normal” conversations upon cancer diagnosis. I would agree, our collective “new normal” will be what you mention. I love staying connected to you over the Facebook!! You too, stay safe and stay active!!! Love you dearly dear Penny aka Linda!!

      Reply
  3. Thanks for posting this! I have diabetes and asthma and was fortunate to get my third vaccination yesterday. I am moving from Colorado to Oregon in two weeks and I hope this will safely help me on the drive through multiple red zones!

    Reply
    • Donna, I’m so glad you found this blog helpful!!! I get it, diabetes and asthma in combo are risky with the covid situation, stay careful and safe. Sending good wishes as you make your move from CO to OR!!!

      Reply

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