COVID, Masks, and Vaccines!

I am sure everyone is as tired of hearing about the virus, the variants that came to fruition from the virus, and the vaccines that have been available for several months, but this continues to be a massive issue in the United States. Neither the virus nor the vaccines are a political statement. COVID-19 and the vaccines are not Republican or Democrat, and they do not discriminate. The virus that has spread throughout the world does not care what the color of someone’s skin is, who they worship or love, their ethnicity, where someone lives or is from, their age, or anything else, and has already killed over four million people worldwide. Unfortunately, these numbers will only continue to rise until everyone does what is necessary to end COVID!

The crazy things I have heard people say recently are they will not get the vaccine for religious reasons or think the vaccine should be a personal decision and not mandatory, they cannot find the time to get the vaccine, and masks are taking away their freedom. None of these illogical thoughts make any sense to me. For starters, masks are NOT taking away anyone’s freedom but are saving lives. Also, the vaccine is completely FREE, and it does not take long to get the shots, so 15-20 minutes is worth it to keep living.

There are very few religions that are opposed to vaccinations. The reason why some religions are opposed to vaccinations is due to things the vaccines are made from, but the COVID vaccine is not made of any animal-based ingredients. Christian scientists tend to turn down vaccines because they have a belief in the healing through prayers, which means they believe prayers can have the ability to cure diseases and illnesses. Unfortunately, no amounts of prayers are stopping COVID from taking a person’s life.

The Dutch Reformed Church does not have an official standpoint on the COVID vaccine, but many of the members are opting out of the vaccination. These people believe that vaccines will interfere with their relationship with God by making them less dependent.

I was very apprehensive about getting the COVID vaccine, but it was out of fear of possible interactions with the Gilenya I take for Multiple Sclerosis. I remember years ago when the flu vaccine was available and was a live vaccine and frowned upon with Gilenya so I never got the vaccine and luckily never got the flu. Despite what was said at the beginning of the pandemic, COVID is a lot different than the normal flu and a lot more deadly. Of course, with the COVID vaccine being new there was not a lot of information available and even the manufacture of the Gilenya was unsure if the vaccine was safe for me to get. I did not wait for approval from my neurologist or the manufacture to get the vaccine and thankfully, it did not have any of the interactions I was fearful of.  Unfortunately, six months after getting the vaccine, my bloodwork showed that I did not have any antibodies for COVID so masks are a must for me, but I still do not regret getting the vaccine because maybe the vaccine was protecting me in the beginning. Plus, those that are fully vaccinated and got COVID had less severe symptoms.

No vaccine is 100% effective, but the Pfizer vaccine for COVID is 95% effective. Moderna is 94.1% effective and Johnson & Johnson is 85% effective with COVID. I would say that even an 85% effectiveness is better than nothing at all. The vaccine may keep people protected for a few months and it loses it protection meaning another vaccine may be necessary. With so many people continuing to decline getting vaccinated, the virus is only going to continue to mutate creating more variants that are going to be even more deadly and possibly resilient to the vaccine.

I do think one of the major issues with the virus and the vaccine is ALL the misinformation and lies that are being spread on social media and from ignorant people. This is dangerous for the health of all humans and needs to end. Masks will NOT cause health issues but will prevent the spread of COVID and end more variants from starting. Wearing a mask will NOT only keep you safe but keep others safe if you are infected with COVID because you are asymptomatic.

With children going back to school, there have been a lot more kids and teachers getting sick with COVID and ending up in the hospital. Thankfully, my husband and I do not have two-legged children because I do not think I would feel comfortable with my child going to school. Many parents are fighting requirements for their children to wear a mask, but then do not want their child having remote learning. I think it is crucial to keep the children and teachers as safe as possible. I think what some parents do not realize is, their child follows their example. The parents that are causing violence in meetings with the staff and other parents at their school and acting with no regards to human life are setting the worst example. The truth is, children are our future and when they are only seeing bad behavior, what does that do to the future of our country? The children are not able to fully understand the seriousness of this virus and do not comprehend the importance of masks and social distancing. Children must be at least 12 to get the vaccine, so those under 12 are at a higher risk.

I do understand that there is no way to change someone’s mind about getting vaccinated, but I can at least try providing these people with a logical explanation about the importance. The only person I can control is myself, so I will continue wearing a mask and will either get a third shot of the COVID vaccine or a booster when it is available. The one thing we all can work together on is ending the spread and further variants of this extremely serious virus. Part of me thinks that our new normal is wearing masks anytime we leave our homes and disinfecting anything that enters our homes. It might not be a great way to live, but it will provide some sort of comfort and safety.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I do hope the information I have shared has enlightened you to the gravity of this virus. I will urge you to get vaccinated if you have not already so we can END COVID sooner rather than later. I care about human life, which is why I will continue to do what is necessary to keep everyone safe and alive. I am looking forward to reading what your thoughts are on the information I provided in this post and promise to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday y’all! Is it just me or does it seem like the weekend was really short? Obviously, I know the weekends are only two days, but sometimes it seems like only one day. I guess my weekend felt even shorter because I pretty much had a headache all weekend and it was probably because of the rain. How was your weekend? I hope whatever you did, you stayed safe!

Here we are again beginning another week. Mondays are never easy, but today is a blessing and something to be thankful for! I hope you will find motivation in the quote I am sharing with y’all today. I found this quote motivating and inspiring because we are all facing so many challenges each day. I do believe we are all strong enough to handle this, but that does not make it easier to tolerate.

Of course, COVID is still terrorizing the world and it will never make sense to me why many are still so against the vaccine. I have heard many people and some that I thought were intelligent argue that vaccines are a personal choice, which if the virus was not killing people I would agree with. I do believe that we all have the right to decide, but when our decisions affect others in a negative and deadly way, I think choices need to be rational and not selfish! I am still doing the best I can to help other understand the importance of getting vaccinated and I plan to get a third vaccine to ensure my safety and others safety as well. This needs to be a group effort and together we can make a difference with this pandemic!

Thank you for taking the time to visiting my site today. This post might not be as good as previous post, but it is because of the headache that will not go away. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and found it to be motivating. I would love to know what you thought of this post and I promise to respond to your comments as soon as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

I have good news for y’all! We are halfway through the week and SO much closer to the weekend we all are waiting for! I hope your week has been great up to this point and the next few days are even better. I can say that work has gotten a lot busy, which I do prefer because it makes the day fly by or at least move along faster. Many that disagree with me and enjoy slow days, but what good is that really? Not only are the workdays a lot busier, but it is insanely HOT where I live and that does not make living with Multiple Sclerosis easy. At least I do not have to leave the house and go out into the nasty heat. I do prefer to not dwell on things I have no control over and just try to enjoy the life I have been given!

Now that we have successfully made it through two days this week and are starting the third, it might help everyone to feel a little inspiration. The quote I want to share with y’all today I find enlightening and inspiring, but I do hope it will do the same for you! I know the quotes I see in a certain way, others might feel something different, but those differences help us view things in a different light and grow. I believe if we all saw things the same way, life would be rather boring with no room to flourish into stronger and more amazing people! With that said, I would love the opportunity to read what your thoughts are on the quote I am sharing today.

I am curious about what your thoughts are on the newest variant of COVID, Delta. I have heard the reason for the majority of hospitalizations is due to Delta and even those that are fully vaccinated are becoming ill. The only good news is the people that have been fully vaccinated are not necessarily becoming deathly ill, but unfortunately, some of the older individuals are losing the battle with Delta. We are continuing to be living in trying times, but I do believe the more people that get vaccinated will end the virus from mutating into viruses that will defy that current vaccine. It is NOW, critical for everyone to get fully vaccinated and we can join together to end the spread!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and it has inspired you to not only get vaccinated but to continue this the rest of this week with a positive outlook. I am looking forward to reading your comments and promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope y’all had a nice, relaxing, and safe weekend! I guess ready or not, a new week is in front of us. We all have the opportunity to stay focused, determined, and optimistic for good things to happen. I do understand that it is not always easy, but we should consider the new week a blessing because tomorrow is never a promise. I have been struggling to do the normal posts I have always done because of numerous things, but I am refusing to surrender to the challenges in life. Yes, saying goodbye to the weekend is hard, but it happens every week and things have to continue to improve.

As we embark on another new week, we need to continue trying our best to stay positive and motivated. It is my hope the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you the motivation needed to begin the week and hope with each day the week gets even better. We are all incredibly strong due to the obstacles we have faced and continue to face. The only thing that can stop us, is our inner critic. Lord knows that I am my own biggest critic and enemy because I am hard on myself. Even with that said, I am working on ending that vicious cycle!

Life is not easy and it takes strength, determination, and resilience. During the past 18 months, we have all faced distressing times that we never could have imagined. There is a song I heard many years ago that is so powerful and something that the world needs now more than ever. I am going to encourage all of you to listen to this song and please let me know what you think of it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AjkUyX0rVw&list=RD9AjkUyX0rVw&start_radio=1. The song is called “We Are The World” and it is being sung by several iconic singers of our time. I do remember this song being powerful when I was younger, but today it makes me cry tears of sadness, enlightenment, strength, and hope!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope y’all have a great and safe day. I know I say this in every post, but it is because I care about people and want everyone to be safe with COVID getting bad again. If you have not already gotten the vaccine, I want to urge you to do so. The vaccine is keeping everyone safe and preventing additional deaths. I understand vaccines can be scary, but the vaccine was not created by any government, but by scientists. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Boost your immune system

During the past year and a half, eighteen long months we have learned many valuable lessons about the world and those living in it. From coast to coast, throughout every country people have endured the stress, fear, and anxiety from a wildly contagious and deadly virus. Some of the most prominent issues with COVID-19 are the misinformation that has been shared in the news and social media, but also those that are refusing to get vaccinated and or wear a mask. Too many people have politized this virus, which should NEVER have been a political issue because it is science-based. This virus has already killed millions of innocent people worldwide and has not stopped. Throughout this post, I am going to share important information on the complications from COVID and ways we can strengthen our immune system to defend against illnesses and viruses.

COVID-19 may be different for each person that gets the virus, but some are going to be similar. Symptoms may range from minor to severe and even lead to death. The symptom may include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, loss of smell or taste, nausea, and diarrhea. Some people are asymptomatic, which means they have the virus, but do not display any symptoms and are continuously spreading the virus.

Unfortunately, some people may experience COVID-19 complications that are caused by a condition called “cytokine storm”. This condition is when an infection prompts the immune system to flood the bloodstream with cytokines, which is are inflammatory proteins. These proteins may kill tissue and damage organs, and, in some situations, lung transplants will be required.

The immune system behaves similar to the way a security system we have in our homes does. My immune system does not behave the way it should, which is where my fears stem from. Although, our immune system is complex it is the first line of defense against illness. Our immunes system is comprised of various organs, cells, and proteins that have several vital roles, which include:

1. Fighting disease-causing germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi and eliminates them from our body.

2. Acknowledges and negates harmful substances from the environment

3. Fights disease-causing changes in the body.

Considering how crucial our immune system is and the ways all the variants of COVID-19 are impacting the world, we must do everything we can to keep our immune system healthy. Personally, the medication I take for my Multiple Sclerosis causes my immune system to be weak. Even though I have been fully vaccinated, I work from home, have groceries delivered, and rarely leave the house, I am still worried. On the rare occasion, I do leave my house, I do wear a mask because there is no way to know if the vaccine was effective for me. Also, I would not want to be an asymptomatic carrier and pass it onto someone else, even though they had the option to get the vaccine and did not.

Unfortunately, as we age our immune response capability may become reduced. With cases of COVID from the Delta variant steadily increasing, now is an important time to do everything we can to keep our immune system as healthy as possible. I am going to share several ways to help build and maintain a healthy immune system. Before you continue reading, please remember I am not a physician, nutritionist, or health expert, this is just information I have learned through a little research.

Maintaining good gut health could be the golden ticket! It has been suggested that doctors believe up to 80% of our immune system is found in our gut. A diet that is abundant with plant-based and unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spice display a protective effect. Utilizing this type of diet can reduce inflammation and promote good gut bacteria, which establishes stronger immune health.

As COVID-19 continues to mutate into different and more contagious variants, continuing good hand hygiene is crucial. Washing our hands multiple times, a day for at least 20 seconds is the best and most effective way to not spread bacteria, viruses, and infections. You can count to 20 each time you wash your hands, or you can sing happy birthday or Mary had a little lamb 2 times as you wash your hands!

Continue or start taking vitamins daily. Vitamin C supplies immune defense by assisting cell function and defending against environmental contributors. If you do not want to take a vitamin C supplement, there are several natural sources including oranges, strawberries, spinach, kiwi, and grapefruit. Vitamin D can increase the immune response and defend against respiratory conditions. Of course, there are vitamin D supplements, but 10 minutes of sun exposure a day is an effective natural source.

We have all heard many times that stress is a silent killer, but it also harms our immune system as well. Stress can cause us to produce additional levels of cortisol and cytokine, which triggers inflammation. Stress can also decrease the number of white blood cells in our body that help fight off infections. Discovering ways that work best for us will restore much of what is needed for a healthy and fulfilled life.

Developing a schedule to get an adequate amount of sleep every night can help boost our immune system. Research suggests that less than six hours of sleep each night might make someone four times more likely to get sick, than someone that does get the proper amount of sleep. Our body depends on a full night’s rest to replenish cells and proteins. Of course, during the workweek, it is easier to stay with a sleep schedule because we have a set time our workday will begin, but we should use the same sleep schedule on the weekends as well

If you are currently a smoker, it is time to quit. Smoking does so many awful things to our bodies and increases the risk of cancer. There are many programs available to help you quit smoking, but it does take you making the first step! If you drink alcohol, it is best to only do this in moderation. Alcohol not only creates negative impacts on our physical body but also on our mental health.

Staying hydrated might not protect us fully from viruses but becoming dehydrated has many negative impacts on us that can easily be avoided. Dehydration can cause terrible headaches and hinder our physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, heart, and kidney function. I have mentioned before the importance of staying hydrated and provided a few useful tips. I drink water all day and even have a bottle beside my bed at night, so if I become thirsty it is available. I have purchased a few phenomenal bottles on Amazon that keep my water cold all day. I leave one bottle in the freezer, filled halfway with water so when I take it out there is ice in the bottom that helps keep the water even colder! I will share a link to the bottles that I have and hope you will find them as helpful as I do! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764PGKL4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope the information I have shared will be helpful for you. I know there are many other ways we can work to keep our immune health the best it can be, so if you have other advice, please share with us! I have already said before, the vaccine is free, and everyone needs to get this as soon as possible. Being vaccinated and or wearing a mask will save lives. The people that are not getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are contributing to the death count, which is wrong and selfish.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you are having a relaxing, safe, and wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa