Like many of you I’m sure, I have been overwhelmed with competing emotions over the past several months, many of which have to do with COVID-19. Honestly though I’d say at the forefront of these for me has been gratitude - for myself and my family, but also for our community and state. Alaska has been blessed tremendously with good health and public safety. Not just from the pandemic so far, but also the tragic degree of racial tension and aggression playing out in the Lower 48.

This has led me to try to concentrate on 3 main things this month really as I look back:

1. Maintaining and expressing that attitude of gratitude,
2. Praying for the rest of the country (and world) for relief from plague, turmoil and violence, and
3. Trying to do (model and teach) the right thing – specifically from a public health perspective.

Okay, so that last one hasn’t really been a major focus but I am getting at efforts and endeavors that we have all been making as Alaskans, and at NAPM specifically (my jurisdiction) to improve community well-being during this pandemic.We are personally complying with the mandates and guidelines put forth from our leadership, and we are enforcing those mandates within our clinic as well. I realize that these steps are not universally appreciated, and the necessity for wearing masks and restricting family/friends from accompanying you to office visits and procedures has been difficult.

We thank you all for everything you’re doing not just in our healthcare setting, but in your neighborhoods, businesses, etc. And I don’t just mean following the rules, although that’s very important. We know that we’re not the only ones working on cultivating gratitude, and an attitude of prayer and encouragement for those less fortunate, those facing situations far more difficult than our own. As I’ve been reflecting on all of this over the past couple days, a verse from the Old Testament – Micah 6:8 has come to mind and I just can’t shake it. It says,

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humblywith your God.”

Page-3-Image-2

That’s confirmation to me that the right course is the pursuit of

1. Gratitude (humility),
2. Prayer (mercy), and
3. Community good (justice)

There’s certainly more to justice, mercy and a humble walk with God, but in practical terms, this is what we’re working on right now! Let’s be a light to the rest of the nation and the world… Lord knows we could all use it.