Health and Fitness

COVID-19 Vaccine

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the news that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon, has really got me excited. After months of social isolation and uncomfortable mask wearing, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

Two COVID-19 vaccines are currently under emergency review by the Food and Drug Administration and unless something unexpected turns up, hundreds of thousands of people in the USA should be vaccinated before the end of the year.

Both Pfizer and BioNTech say that their vaccines can prevent more than 90% of people from getting COVID-19. Assuming people agree to accept the vaccine, millions of people worldwide should be vaccinated before the end of the year and billions of people in 2021. More than 60% of people need to receive the vaccine, however, for it to be effective across society.

Currently there is a plan for a staged roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine. Stage one includes healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Stage two includes people over 65 and those at high risk due to other medical comorbidities.

Based on the findings of the phase 3 clinical trials in the United States, it appears that the coronavirus vaccine is very safe. Reported side effects have been similar to those side effects noted from other vaccinations. These include injection site pain and tenderness, fever, fatigue, headache, myalgia and chills

One way or another we are going to find out soon how safe and effective these vaccines are. Hopefully, by this time next year the pandemic will be in the rearview mirror. I for one am looking forward to the day that we can all return to a semblance of normal work, school and social activities.

Health and Fitness

Giving Tuesday

We all should be proud of the fact that the USA is by far the number one most generous country in the world. American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $427.7 billion to US charities in 2018, according to Giving USA 2019: the Annual Report on Philanthropy.

The average charitable deduction on approximately 37 million tax returns from 2017 was $5,500. This is no small number. These dollars do an exponential amount of good as the majority of charitable organizations are very efficient and are able to stretch your donated dollars to provide the greatest benefit.

I would like to think that there is something unique and special about our democratic society the fosters a culture of giving.

Interestingly, both rich and poor companies are generous. China, which has the second largest growth domestic product in the world, scored as one of the lowest when it comes to being a generous country. Whereas both Myanmar and Sri Lanka were near the top of the most generous lists, where small frequent acts of giving are the norm.

Yesterday was giving Tuesday. It began is an idea in 2011 by the nonprofit Mary-Archie Theatre Company in Chicago. They urged shoppers to take a different approach; to consider donating to charity after they had finished their Cyber Monday shopping. In 2018, total donations on Giving Tuesday were estimated to be nearly 400,000,000 in the United States alone. As an added benefit, many corporations offer matching funds on this day.

I think it’s a great idea to take a minute on this day and direct some of our resources to causes and charities that are dear to our heart.

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Happy Thanksgiving

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned 2020 into a difficult and stressful year, particularly for those of us working in the healthcare field. It has left many of us feeling isolated, discouraged, and saddened by many great losses.

But on the other hand, it has brought some good. It has reinforced the fact that instead of taking things for granted, we should take them with gratitude; And when we take time to give thanks and count our blessings, we realize how blessed and lucky we truly are.

I found a great quote by writer Melody Beattie. She said “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and create a vision for tomorrow.“

Admittedly, it is harder to feel thankful and grateful this year. We’ve been instructed to spent Thanksgiving separated from our families and loved ones due to the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Although this is depressing, there is always something to be thankful for. I’ve come to realize that the more thankful I am, the more I have to be thankful for.

For me I am thankful for my health, a warm home, good food, my family my friends and a career that I am passionate about. By holding these blessings in my heart and mind, it will make a great Thanksgiving meal.

Stay well!!

Health and Fitness

Charity

This past weekend, my kids’high school, Canton Central Catholic, held a virtual auction. It was titled “You make a difference“ I thought it was a great title and a great reminder that all of us can make a positive difference.

The auction helps the school to offer the best possible student-centered experience by providing the funds necessary for special projects, scholarships, and facility enhancements.

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines charity as “generosity and helpfulness, especially toward the needy or suffering. Also: aid given to those in need and: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.

Winston Churchill stated that “We make a living by what we get… But we make a life by what we give.“ By coming together and generously working on such a worthy project, our students learn that our destinies are bound together and that we have responsibilities as well as rights, and that they should practice love and charity.

Stay well !!

Health and Fitness

Believe

I have to admit I am a great fan of Lance Armstrong. Admittedly, he cheated and refused to admit it for many years. This is no way, however, should overshadow the great things he did and the countless lives that he saved.

Looking back on his cancer diagnosis and impending brain surgery, he wrote about how his thoughts and beliefs affected his reality and helped him to survive. He realized that nothing can cure the briefness of this life and there is no remedy for our basic mortality so he chose to “Livestrong“.

He wrote that “I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe, what other choice was there?” We do this every day. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valued and long-lived human characteristics.

He created the Livestrong foundation to inspire and empower people affected by cancer. It offers diet and nutrition and fitness tips for a healthier lifestyle. More than that, it encourage people to believe in themselves. Believe in the goodness of the world and whatever you choose to believe in. With what we’ve endured with our protracted pandemic and the contentious election, this advice can help put it all into perspective.

Just believe.

Stay well!