"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country". That was the exercise I used to type in high school typing class because it uses most of the keys on the keyboard. It is therefore, committed to my memory for all time…….
It now returns to me, as a principle of kindness (one of the fruits of the Spirit) that it would be good for us all to think about these days. I live in a rural community and due to the lack of density in population, it is not as tender a position for crossing paths with people inadvertently as it is in urban areas. That said, in rural areas, we are comfortable being in more isolated places and having to make intentional efforts to mingle. The culture is different but the principle remains the same.
In our rural culture, getting food, medicine, elder home care and first aid to folks takes more effort. Though we have first responders they are fewer and further away so that the care of community members is extremely important. In our urban areas, the first responders are more prevalent but the sheer numbers of folks needing help are more than the system can handle, so that the same principles of needing assistance apply.
So what's my point? While we are all sitting home behind closed doors, what efforts can we make that can actually show acts of kindness to neighbors, friends and community without causing strife, fear or threat of contamination?
We all need to keep moving and get some kind of exercise as part of staying healthy. Are we available to get groceries for someone and leave them on their doorstep; pick up musinesses stock shelves, do deliveries, shovel driveways ….. Think out of the box, I'm sure there are a myriad of things we edicine or other needs of elderly or disabled neighbors. Can we help our local grocers and small bcan do. Keep hand sanitizer and Four Thieves blend (recipes below) to kill germs in the air.
Are you homebound? You could make calls to isolated friends and family to encourage them. You could start a prayer call or a "friend call" with multiple people to just encourage and share with them. The same works with video conferencing software. Most of these have an entry level program that is available free of charge. If you are needing to stay in doors, you can get exercise via the internet via a number of youtube videos with workout sessions. There are many levels from beginner to advanced and often 20 minutes per day will provide good cardio and stretching opportunities. We know there are needs like, hand sanitizer and facemasks needed. There is a sanitizer recipe below that can be made easily, even if only for your own home needs.
Do you know someone that could use a great cup of herbal tea, some comfort advise, some ideas for recipes with reduced food availability to feed hungry kids. And speaking of kids, are there some creative ideas for kids to get them outside, without getting too close, but helping to get that extra energy out of them and have fun at the same time.
Are you a gardener? Maybe it would be a good time to plan your garden, start some seedlings and get your hands in the dirt anticipating spring. I've got my microgreens growing in a sunny window (see February newsletter) and have purchased my seeds for the summer so I'll be ready to plant when the weather turns. If you have no snow on the ground in your neck of the woods, you can plant hardy greens like kale and arugala and this IS the perfect weather for starting peas.
During World War II when times were tough and most manpower was fighting a war, there was a scare that the country would not have enough food to feed our population. Thus the birth of the Victory Garden. It's time to return to our Victory Gardens. Not only can you supply some of your own food available anytime from your backyard, but you can take the pressure off local grocers. It's possible with the floods, fires and weather emergencies all over the country that some items could be less available than prior years. Keeping your needs local can solve your problems of access. If you don't have a green thumb, perhaps you can support your local CSA and still keep your consumption local while supporting your neighbors.
This is also a perfect time to stop, reflect, and "spring clean" your personal life - throwing out the old and keeping what's important, a time to let go. It's a time to draw closer to your Creator and be thankful. It's a perfect time to let those cortisol spikes slow down and bring your body back into a normal circadian rhythm.
Regarding keeping things sanitized at home, we have already mentioned hand sanitizer and Four Thieves, recipes for which are below. There is a company called Norwex which makes cleaning clothes and products. Their clothes have silver threads woven within them which kill bacteria and are great for cleaning tough surfaces and removing bacteria even without disinfectant. These are great for polishing surfaces, cleaning glass, and disinfecting kitchen and bath areas that are significant for germs. I have one in each room and one for cleaning glass. They can be used multiple times before washing as they even disinfect themselves. Lavender aromatherapy oil is also another germ destroyer besides smelling wonderful. A few drops in laundry rinse cycle, and in spray bottle to wipe down counters and other common areas is very handy.
Lastly, there is a lot of fear around because some of us have never come this way before. If you want to reassure yourself that this will turn around, do a little history search on your computer for Scarlet Fever, the Spanish flu, the Swine flu and the Ebola outbreak to name a few. You will find that practice of social distancing, remaining at home, growing one's own food, and the number of deaths that occurred were just as bad if not worse. I believe that we have learned from history and have gotten a jump on this virus. Though we expect many deaths, we are far ahead with businesses rising to the challenge of supplying PPE, and strategies for bringing us out of this time more quickly than those prior events. Let us pray and encourage those on the front lines and our lawmakers that have the responsibility for leading us through this; and let not fear drive us to division, being judgemental and negativity.
Hats off to all of you, rising to your personal challenges!
Recipe for Hand Sanitizer:
Rubbing Alcohol 70% or less, found in any pharmacy
Aloe vera or glycerine or jojoba oil
Aromatherapy scent of your choice
Straight rubbing alcohol will work, but adding aloe will help it not to dry out your skin so much.
I use 3/4 bottle of alcohol and 1/4 of aloe
Add enough drops of lavender or lemon or other scent you like to taste.
Four Thieves Recipe
This formula when worn externally will dispell and kill bacteria in the air. Put on collar or edge of shirt or hat as well as on your skin. This is most potent when made with aromatherapy oils but you can also tincture raw ingredients together and use that way also.
2 parts Clove oil
2 parts lemon oil
1/2 part cinnamon oil
1 part eucalyptus oil
1 part rosemary oil
Store in bottle and keep in cool dark place or purse or glove compartment of car depending how your lifestyle is and where you might need it. A few drops in a pan of hot steamy water will dispense into your house or you can even inhale. You can also add this to your disinfectant for wiping down counters.
Act wisely, Be safe!
Be well and stay well. If you do your part, God will do His.
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.