Cynthia Li, MD, is a doctor, author, and speaker. She has practiced in settings as diverse as Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic for the homeless, and Doctors Without Borders in rural China. Currently, she has a private practice in integrative and functional medicine, and serves as faculty for the Healer’s Art program at the University of California San Francisco Medical School. She is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Institute for Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine for the Underserved. She is a contributor to Thrive Global and Psychology Today. Brave New Medicine is her first book.
This too shall pass - I am thankful for all the things that continue to be normal as usual, like the sun that rises every morning; the signs of spring, with daffodils and crocuses popping out and robbins searching for worms; and the goodness in all human kind that rises to an unprecedented occasion to continue to do good and seek opportunities to continue what they believe are the right things to do and achieve in life.
Every day, I hear about everyday Americans, coming out to express their personal and individual reflection of what is happening to them and to all the people around us. Friends are reconnecting with friends they haven’t heard from in many years, neighbors are reaching out to their neighbors to make sure they are all right and extending helping hands where needed. And the brave Americans – doctors and health workers, grocery clerks and public servants like mail carriers and others employed in essential businesses, all risking their personal well being so the rest of us can continue to live.
Personally, our daughter, Alison started a family Facetime routine, where we connect on our iPhones and spend about 30 minutes, chatting about anything and everything. We get to see everyone and connect as a family. We’ve also refocused on the one thing we enjoy, other than getting together with friends and that is EATING. So we’ve ventured out into some unique flavors that we never imagined. We committed our daily sustenance to helping out local restaurant and found a new website called Local Flavors. On that site, we discovered a place called the cabbage Connection. My mom used to make cabbage rolls and I loved them but way too tedious to make. When I found this place, I called and purchase five dozen cabbage rolls and when I brought them home, still warm, I made up six individual packs and delivered them to our closest neighbors. They were all delighted and in return, some have returned the favor. One family directly across the street, originally from eastern Europe made what he calls Lebanese Treats, round shaped balls, deep fried, I think and stuffed with ground meat. They were delicious and we have never had them before. I doubt we would have been introduced this item, were it not for the current VOVID-19 thing.
We also ventured into new recipes, very time consuming and tedious but hey, we have all the time in the world, thanks to COVID-19. We tried to make authentic Pho, the Viet Namese original, made famous by the late CNN foodie, Anthony Bourdain. Some local Asian restaurants offer this dish but nothing like the authentic stuff the locals eat. Most challenging is to make the bone broth, which require up to 5 hours of slow simmering. Then the challenge of finding the principal ingredient, Star Anise. I finally found a company called My Spice Sage and ordered 8 ounces, via Amazon. The real secret to Pho is the freshness of the vegetables one chooses – they are not cooked but layered into the bottom of the bowl with boiling broth poured over them just before serving it. And you can choose a variety of veggies from scallions, spinach, arugala, Bok choy and most importantly, fresh bean sprouts. Try it, you’ll LOVE it!!
We should all reflect on other periods in history that the nation faced calamity, economic disaster - not only the depression but what about the severe drought that ushered in the dust bowl, and yes, even wars. How did Americans weather those storms. We did it by coming together as neighbors and communities and the nation. President Kennedy said, "Ask not, what this country can do for you but ask, what you can do for this country". Each of us needs to think about one positive thing we can do daily to help this nation weather, yet another time of pain and suffering.
Bill Melver, Akron, O[Hide Full Comment]