Health News:

Thanks & praise to our God who strengthens and protects us! The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged us to reflect on how we can help to strengthen our immune systems response to viruses and bacterial infection. As we age, our immune response is reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells (part of our immune response system).

Many medical media sources highlight increased research on the benefits of vitamin supplementation to boost the body’s immune response – particularly Vitamin D & Vitamin C: The unique nature and lack of immunity against this coronavirus has prompted a worldwide pursuit of effective treatments for COVID-19. That includes repurposing drugs with known safety profiles, including Vitamin C, an established immune system booster and antioxidant.  Medical experts theorize that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels may help lower risk or aid recovery from severe COVID-19 for some people. Older adults may experience deficiency, because their skin may not make vitamin D as well as it did years earlier plus at this time of year our outdoor sun source is less. The Endocrine Society recommends, children 600–1,000 IUs daily, and adults 600–2,000 IUs daily. Adults with obesity may need 2-3 times more. Talk with your doctor to receive advice for you.; and

This article discusses foods to increase your vitamin intake:

Our great God invites us to be good stewards of our health (1 Thessalonians 4:4). Vaccines are important in protecting against serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. Vaccination provides both personal & community benefits. Immunization is important for anyone who is in close contact with the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and those who cannot be vaccinated (consider the child or adult who has received an organ transplant and needs immunosuppressant drugs).

Vaccines stimulate your body’s immune response. After vaccination, you develop immunity to the disease because the body learns how to protect itself when & if the real virus shows up-protecting you from getting sick if you get infected. The COVID-19 vaccines are not made with eggs. 2 doses are required. The maximum benefit is in effect about 1 week after the 2nd dose. Meanwhile, follow public health strategies like social distancing, respiratory precautions, wear masks in public, and hand washing to help reduce the transmission of the virus & the number of infections.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you,

even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 2)


Jill Koubal, Parish Nurse




Healthy Reflections

Psalm 31:9-10, 14Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief,

my soul and body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength

Grieving the losses related to the coronavirus pandemic is something that we have all experienced, even if we are not consciously aware of many of those losses. Some losses are clear and significant – lives, health, jobs or income – these are clearly understood & acknowledged. But many others are less obvious and impact emotional health; think missed proms, postponed events and vacations; plus the loss of the freedoms of everyday living – shopping, visiting friends, going to the gym, movies or library – all of these have changed. These are legitimate losses that must be grieved. Acknowledging grief is important. Too often we try to put a positive twist “things will be better soon”, rather than naming the emotion “this is a sad time with missed moments/losses.”

Ambiguous loss is a loss that occurs without closure or clear understanding. Learn to acknowledge the uncertainty-the lost sense of normalcy, then seek to discover new sources of hope. Focus on the present with the concept of “both/and”. This means that we can feel loss in the present and also feel safe in the moment.

How we deal with these losses is different for each person ~ There is no one-size-fits-all; you do you! But knowing these losses may be around for a while, here are some tips to embrace our new reality:


  • If you are working from home, and/or your kids are now home from school, use this time to connect as a family. Our kids are watching our attitudes.
  • Acknowledge that this is a temporary inconvenience in life. These frustrations won’t last forever. Like an inoculation – painful to get, but a really good idea to protect my health and safety.
  • Have a grateful heart.
  • Do your best to remain positive. Replace negative thoughts like, “I’m stuck at home” or “Everything is shutting down, I’m panicking”, with positive thoughts like, “I get to be SAFE in my home and spend time with family” or “The most IMPORTANT places, such as medical centers, pharmacies and grocery stores, remain open”.
  • And above all, keep a sense of humor. It helps.
  • We have hope, for our God is an excellent source of comfort and care.


“Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.”  Psalm 94:19

What a comfort these words are!

Jill Koubal, Parish Nurse



Health Thoughts

Many things have changed in our lives due to the corona virus pandemic. How we are receiving health care has changed in many situations too. Telehealth (telemedicine) has provided a good alternative to providing & receiving health care safely. Telehealth appointments allow you to stay connected to health professionals through the phone, or via live video chats using a computer or mobile device.

Advantages of this include: making services more readily available or convenient for people with limited mobility, time or transportation options. Reimbursement policies for telehealth, including Medicare, have been improved making this option more feasible for all. New mobile health apps and wearable monitoring devices help track a patient’s vitals, provide alerts about needed care, and help patients access their physician. If you have a chronic health condition monitoring equipment such as a blood pressure cuff or digital scale may be provided so that you can regularly provide information to your health care provider.

Examples of telehealth include:
- A "virtual visit" with a health care provider, through a phone call or video chat.
- Remote patient monitoring, which lets your provider check on you while you are at home. Example- you might wear a device that measures your heart rate & sends that information to your provider.
- A surgeon using robotic technology to do surgery from a different location.
- Sensors that can alert caregivers if a person with dementia leaves the house, or falls.
- Sending your provider a message through your electronic health record (EHR) i.e. mychart.
- Watching an online video that your provider sent you about how to use an inhaler.
- Getting an email, phone, or text reminder that it is time for a cancer screening.

It is often easier to obtain help for emotional issues like stress, anxiety and depression via telehealth. (Kaley, Pastor Randy’s daughter, does counseling work in this format). Cornerstone of Hope’s bereavement & counseling programs are offered in this manner too.

Do not let concerns about exposure to Covid 19 infection keep you from receiving care for your body, mind or spirit. Use nurse-on-call phone lines for guidance. If you need assistance in navigating the use of telehealth services or seeking support systems, please contact me.

How can you help others at this time? Ohio's Strive for Five Challenge is a new, statewide awareness campaign to help individuals and families cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation by connecting with others. You are encouraged to reach out, connect, and comfort each other while we all work our way through the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing. Peer-to-peer support has great power in helping to calm anxiety and fear. By reaching out via phone, text, email, or even a hand-written note, you can help.

The church is here for you… ~ to comfort you in grief ~ to soothe you when you’re anxious
~ to entertain you when you could use a smile ~ to strengthen your faith when it wavers.
And to remind you that all things are possible with hope, faith, and prayer.

Jill Koubal, Parish Nurse


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