The Plantrician Project Blog

Plantrician Project's Response to Covid-19

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~Nelson Mandela

Dear Friends,
This morning I watched the sun crest and then burst forth on the horizon painting the sky a brilliant orange.  I was reminded of the many sunrises that I watched from the helicopter pad on the roof of the hospital where I trained while sipping a cup of tea and eating a handful of soda crackers. It was a momentary pause from the pressures and stresses of training that restored peace and order to my life.  Every new morning, no matter how challenging the call night had been, I was filled with fresh hope by the promise of a new day and the abiding thought that it’s going to be o.k. 
In this season of punctuated change and uncertainty, every new sunrise reminds us of the blessing that every new day gifts us a fresh start with the opportunity to collaboratively work together to solve problems and offer a hand up to those in desperate need.  Today, I want to honor you because you stand courageously at the forefront of this challenge, and the numerous challenges of healthcare today, working tirelessly to provide compassionate care to people in great need.  Without exceptional, self-sacrificing healthcare providers like yourselves, our world would be a very different place.  Thank you.
Coronavirus disrupted the order and relative peace of our world with a vicious velocity that has caused many to feel vulnerable and fearful.  However, we are not called to submit to fear and anxiety but as Nelson Mandela said, “…but to triumph over it.”  And I believe we will conquer this challenge through the collective power of brilliant scientists and healthcare providers around the world; and in the end, I foresee several positive outcomes that will ripple into the future like improved public education of general hygiene and hand washing.  
 I am also reminded of the greater threat that we face every day around the world that has not been declared a pandemic by the WHO.  That is the threat of chronic lifestyle related diseases.  According to the CDC in 1990 20% of the deaths in the US were related to chronic disease.  Today, that number has risen to nearly 75% or 1.7 million US lives annually.  And globally, the WHO estimates that 40 million people die each year of chronic disease.  Once this coronavirus crisis has passed, and it will, we must refocus our energy and attention on the epidemic of dietary and lifestyle related diseases and with steeled determination effect change in the lives of our patients, healthcare systems, public policy, and nations around the world. 
The list of strategies to prevent the transmission of infectious disease are by now ubiquitous in all the media channels, so I don’t need to repeat the lists that we all know well.  However, during this challenging season, I want to encourage you to take time to care for yourself and maintain resilience, vitality, and strength through the core principles of a health lifestyle. In fact, I am challenging myself to “double down” on more nutrient rich plants, intermittent fasting, exercise, sleep and stress reduction.   It is also a unique opportunity for all of us to take some time to contemplate those areas of life that are most meaningful and readjust the allocation of our time to be congruent with those core values.  One core value that I believe we share in common is compassion and the desire to help those who are vulnerable and in great need.  I would suggest that during this crisis when fear and scarcity are taking hold, we can step up and generously help our neighbors, encourage our patients, and be a beacon of light and hope.
On behalf of The Plantrician Project team thank you for all that you do, you are truly amazing.  We look forward to seeing you later this year at one of our conferences and if there is anything that we can do to support or help you in any way please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you succeed in every way. 
With great hope for the future and sincere appreciation,
Scott Stoll, MD

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