Thursday, September 29, 2022

To Boost Or Not To Boost


The masks are no longer being worn (Unless you go into a hospital or doctor's office [I think they are trying to tell you something]). People are not "social distancing any more. Everybody is in a party hardy mood. Let's get together and schmooze. 

And yet, the CDC is still pushing booster shots. Why if it's all but gone?

Let's take a look at the United Kingdom. I know that's all we've been looking at since the Queen died, but behind the scenes, that Covid bug has been lurking and spreading (because of the crowds?) and the numbers are climbing. 

As of two days ago, the UK has had 104,436 cases and 81 people have died in the last 28 days. Seems it's far from gone there. 

As we pass from Summer into Fall, the CDC keeps talking about two variants of Covid that are still out there. BA.4 & BA.5 Omicron subvariants. 

What are they? They’re the most transmissible and immune-evasive strains of the COVID-19 virus to date. Today, they’re causing around 80% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and yes, ladies and gentlemen it is still around. 

Which brings me to the title of this post. Flu season is knocking at your door. 

I was born in 1946 and I've experienced all the childhood diseases and had all the immunization shots. I was even part of the first Polio Vaccine distribution where they put a drop of vaccine into a sugar cube and gave it to you. I had Mumps, Measles, Chicken Pox (which I proudly say I gave to the whole Cub Scout Troop). I don't have any mental problems from the shots although my previous three wives might disagree and for the last 25 years or so I've had a yearly flu shot with the exception of one year. I'm not happy to say that year I got the flu and it wasn't pretty. 

So today Katherine and I went to CVS Pharmacy and got both the yearly flu shot (left arm) and the new Covid BA.4/BA.5 Booster (right arm). You'll be pleased to know that neither arm is usable tonight. Just kidding. Just a little muscle sore where the needle went in. No other side effects, no tracking implants, no tinfoil hats.  

Lastly, in the US 1,059,288 people have died from Covid (YTD) with 12,000 in just the last 28 days. 

Please get boosted. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

A Short Note From Alex In Ukraine

I would never have thought that I would be so much involved in the medical world.

It all started at the end of March when my friends, dr. Judah Slawkowkskiy , a surgeon from Chicago,  wanted to help his Ukrainian colleagues.

Dr. Judah brought not only his knowledge and skills, but he brought encouragement and hope. This was the time when the whole world realized the brutality of this war, when the crimes of Bucha and Irpin became open for the world media.

Since that dr. Judah came three more times to Ukraine to teach surgeons from Lviv, Ternopil and Kyiv to teach them blood stopping techniques and bullet/fragments removal from hard accessible areas.

Judah is very helpful and is my resource in all my medical questions.  He explained with napkins and pencils the difference between Force Triad generator and Harmonica and what cables I need to look for to make these devices fully functional.

When I met Judah a couple weeks ago, I made a comment about his beard. His answer strokes me. He said: “I’m leaving for Afghanistan, Alex, Just a few weeks I will be in Kabul. God is calling me to help people there” I was astonished and petrified. This is a country which is run by the Taliban, where Americans are not welcomed. Think for a moment!

He is coming with two Italian and one Dutch doctor as a part of a medical mission, where they will spend six months training Afghan doctors and receive patients. Please pray for dr. Judah and his mission!

My new challenge was to get another type of surgical generator, Harmonica. I was requested by my Ukrainian surgeons to help them with this. It was a challenge to find the device and get the money.

Thank God I got more money than I needed and I was able to get even more stuff for my friends in Ukraine.

I think helping to equip the hospitals is very crucial. It will impact many people's lives now and in future.

Another benefit is that I made such good relations with the medical community in Zhytomyr, that I was able to help a lonely widow from Zhytomyr.  Her name is Maria and she is a neighbor of my in-laws. She complained about heart problems often. She could not get any help from her physician. Unfortunately, medical service and attitude toward the elderly people leaves much to be desired.

I called dr.Vitalliy, who is a director assistant of the largest hospital in Zhitomir oblast and Maria was seen next day by the best cardiologist in the oblast!

Thank you all,


Monday, September 5, 2022

The War In Ukraine Rages On

The last contact I've had from Alex in Ukraine was on August 8th as I mentioned in the last post. 

I waited another couple days and still nothing. 

So I took a chance and sent an email to Alex just to see if he's OK. 

Here's his answer:

Hello Mark,

I'm better than I deserve. I'm safe and I'm still in Poland. I'm trying to help to coordinate humanitarian help from here. We are in the process with my friends and colleagues from Polish Origins ( to start a non-profit to continue our efforts to help the cause in Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine can last longer than most of us expected and what will be with Ukraine after the war will be a huge, huge challenge.

Thank you for your concerns. May God bless you and I wish you quick recovery!


Alex's family is in Poland and I would guess that's where he's at. I was glad to hear. Should I get more information I'll pass it along.