We are catching up with a long, non-eventful summer, and here we are, well into October.

We have some family members who moved from 2-hours away to the distance of a stone’s throw (literally!), and one family member who’s moved from a 2-thousand-mile distance to a 2-hour drive away! One member got married and became a family with children, and then there’s another who bought and moved into her own home. Another has left the area to make a new life in a sunnier, warmer climate – doesn’t sound too bad! And the youngest among us is growing rapidly and is smarter than the rest of us put together… isn’t that the way? There are also a couple of family members facing serious health challenges, requiring a team of advisors and care-takers to help them through some of the unknowns.

all you need is love… and science-based medical advice

Ultimately, it’s always down to Self, to what’s inside, as to how we move forward, regardless of the outcome. Moving forward could mean recovery versus decline, could mean acceptance over denial, could mean a lot of things depending on the situation. There is no one-size-fits-all in the world of health and wellness, and a great deal of it is a matter of trust. Herbs and supplements could be a part of moving forward, as could other therapies such as acupuncture, therapeutic massage, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Or even chemotherapy. Most herbalists don’t like to say the word, let alone advocate for it. But each person is different, and has to choose for themselves what they feel is the best treatment for their personal situation. Sometimes it is a combination of all of the above.  https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy

What isn’t a given is “choosing to” wear a mask in public to help prevent the spread of a debilitating and possibly fatal virus – no, that is a community-minded, responsible, mature act on the part of the individual, and anyone who thinks it is their constitutionally, God-given right to breathe down my neck at the grocery store has another thing coming. That is the “denial” part I mentioned above. There is no denying our country faces a serious challenge in turning the numbers back on COVID-19, and it takes every single person doing their part. Schools, teachers and staff have their hands full, and their first concern is always the safety of the children. If we don’t set an example of choosing for the common good, we set an example of selfishness. If we don’t make a big deal about wearing a mask, it won’t be a big deal to the kids, they will just do it because it’s the right thing to do. Please don’t bring politics into the health arena; people have devoted their lives to the study of viruses, and are far more educated than our opinions, including mine. I won’t pretend to be all-knowing when it comes to viral diseases, and I truly respect the epidemiologists and researchers who are working tirelessly to get a handle on this particular coronavirus (there are several), as well as the thousands of health-care workers involved in treating the sick. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Elderberry Elixir – a pleasant immune-support tonic

One thing we can do when facing all this “out there” is to keep our immune systems bolstered https://wildnweedy.com/product/elderberry-elixir/ and to try and keep our hearts light. It’s important to seek out that which is uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, and cheerful. If you have a spiritual tradition, this is the time to more deeply cultivate your relationship. If you have always wanted to try your hand at some creative endeavor – drawing, playing a musical instrument, dyeing your hair blue – now is the time. What are you waiting for? Any activity that brings you joy or a sense of accomplishment, that makes you smile, is good for your immune system. Laughter is good medicine.

While I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and would not want to offend someone who is ill from the virus or who has lost a loved one because of it, here are some COVID jokes to help us laugh at ourselves in the midst of the seriousness of the situation. They mostly make fun of people’s behavior, and human nature in general. I haven’t decided my favorite, but no. 3 appeals to the Crabby Appleton in me!

Crabby Appleton" Mask by OffsetVinylFilm | Redbubble

Crabby Appleton mask

1. So let me get this straight, there’s no cure for a virus that can be killed by sanitizer and hand soap?

2. Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree yet? I have run out of things to do.

3. When this virus thing is over with, I still want some of you to stay away from me.

4. If these last months have taught us anything, it’s that stupidity travels faster than any virus on the planet, particularly among politicians and bureaucrats.

5. Just wait a second – so what you’re telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?

6. People are scared of getting fined or arrested for congregating in crowds, as if catching a deadly disease and dying a horrible death wasn’t enough of a deterrent.

7. If you believe all this will end and we will get back to normal just because we reopen everything, raise your hand. Now slap yourself with it.

8. Another Saturday night in the house and I just realized the trash goes out more than me.

9. Whoever decided a liquor store is more essential than a hair salon is obviously a bald-headed alcoholic.

10. Remember when you were little and all your underwear had the days of the week on them. Those would be helpful right now.

11. The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors: 1. How dense the population is and 2. How dense the population is.

12. Remember all those times when you wished the weekend would last forever? Well, wish granted. Happy now?

13. It may take a village to raise a child, but I swear it’s going to take a whole vineyard to home school one.

14. Did a big load of pajamas so I would have enough clean work clothes for this week.

We hope that you and yours have managed to stay busy, stay working, and stay healthy. Reach out and communicate with your friends and family… everyone needs a hand right now. Our mental health and our physical health are partners, hand in hand.

hand in hand, we move forward