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Oregon City and Newtown

This past Tuesday, someone very close to me sent me the following text:

“No idea what’s going on but Clackamas Town Center is literally surrounded by police w/medical and fire on hand en masse.”  4:02 PM PST Dec 11

He was right there, trying to get through the chaos, texting me as it happened:

“Units still arriving, all agencies, well over 100.” 4:03 PM PST Dec 11

I’m pacing at this point, wondering what the hell is happening.  He’s in Oregon City, I’m 3500 miles away in Florida and helpless to do anything to follow my first instinct to get him out of there (not that he’d have needed my help, that’s just the way I am).  Dreading what I’d see, I turned on the news…

This was hitting way too close to home as someone I love was THERE.

Then Friday… Newtown, CT… I could not believe what I was hearing as I was listening to the reports coming in on NPR.  As the count rose of all the children senselessly taken from this quiet community at a place where they are supposed to be safe, all I could think of was my daughter.  She was at school here and at that moment all I wanted to do was hold her, protect her, from anything and everything.  But that’s impossible.

We are coming into a time where people are becoming so desperate that they are more and more often resorting to more violent means of crying out for help, for getting their points across.  Only two emotions can remain after such attacks in our own communities: Anger and Fear.  The anger will only progress into rage and more calculated killings.  The fear can only drive innocent people away from public places, into their homes afraid to go out in public anymore.  No place is immune from someone snapping and opening fire.  Temples, churches, schools, malls… I think if we really come together as communities and pay attention to what is happening around us, pay attention to the signs that others are giving, we may be able to prevent some future attacks from occurring.  If we can catch warning signs earlier that someone is hurting, perhaps we can direct them to help, or get help to them.  I don’t know – I don’t think anyone does.  There is no one solution to the growing problem and definitely no easy one.  I do think however we can all start by caring a little more, reaching out, pulling together.  We are our brothers’ keepers.

Tis the Season… For Colds and Flu

MYTH: Going out in the cold weather will give you a cold.

FACT: While not exactly accurate, cold weather can make colds and related viruses more apt to set in. It isn’t the cold that gives us the sniffles however. When our body temperature drops, so does our ability to fight the viruses that we commonly come in contact with. Cold viruses are all around us however a drop in temperature slows down our immune response to these tiny invaders and makes us more likely to suffer the symptoms of them as we fail to fight them off at first contact. It is difficult to avoid contact with any of the 200 plus viruses that cause common cold symptoms, but there are things we can do to minimize the probability of catching a cold or at the least minimize the symptoms and shorten them.

WASH your hands regularly! Hot water and soap are your first line of defense after coming in contact with a person showing symptoms, after touching door knobs, phones, anything someone else may have touched. Cold viruses can live up to 48 hours outside the body on non-porous surfaces and flu viruses can stick around even longer.

DISINFECT commonly touched home and office surfaces regularly with disinfectant sprays or wipes.

BOOST your intake of Vitamin C and Zinc. Both stimulate and strengthen the immune system, reducing or preventing symptoms of the viral invasion.

Oh, HONEY! Unfiltered, unprocessed RAW honey contains both antiviral and antibiotic properties, as well as a wealth of vitamins and minerals and positive health effects including strengthening the immune system. Raw, locally harvested honey also has the added benefit of containing small amounts of local pollens which, when ingested, begin to help the person taking it to build immunity to the local trees and plants that cause seasonal allergies (which can be just as miserable as a cold). Factory processed honey is heated to a point that most of these health benefits are lost – the difference in benefits between raw and pasteurized honey is substantial.

Remember, prevention is the best medicine. If you do have any serious health concerns – ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist first for advice on treatment!

Stay healthy this season!