“That’s Crazy!!!” – More Chronicles from the VA Chapter 7

Oh, how I wish and long for, and am working for, the day when the VA is cleaned up, cleaned out, and corrected completely!  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) has been busy reporting more on the failures of the VA to act.  Yet, where is Congressional action in scrutinizing the executive branch’s actions?  Honest question, repeated only for emphasis; we elected you to do two jobs, write fair and equal legislation for all citizens, and scrutinize the executive branch; when are you going to do your jobs?

Let’s begin with some softball issues repeated from previous VA-OIG comprehensive healthcare inspections (CHIPs), specifically how employees report feeling morally distressed while working at the VA.  Moral distress is a leadership failure and is widespread enough to reflect the problem is not limited to a single VAMC/VAHCS.  From Virginia to California, Maine to Florida, and Montana to Arizona, too many VA facilities are poorly led, poorly administered, and poorly executed.  The VA is actively abusing the veterans for political gain; some have asked why I consider the VA is actively abusing veterans; let me see if additional disclosure can explain the problem.

VHA Directive 1004.08.  VHA defines an institutional disclosure as “a formal process by which VA medical facility leader(s), together with clinicians and others as appropriate, inform the patient or personal representative that an adverse event has occurred during the patient’s care that resulted in, or is reasonably expected to result in, death or serious injury, and provide specific information about the patient’s rights and recourse.”

The above quote is from the regulations governing VA care.  The VA-OIG quotes this directive, which has been published and is openly available, yet repeatedly the VA-OIG finds directors.  Hospital administrators who are informed and able to repeat this directive.  Who repeatedly refuse to follow this directive or train their staff to follow this directive.  When sentinel events occur (death, permanent injury, non-permanent injury, disability, etc.), the families report having no idea what to do because the disclosures were never provided to the veteran or designated caregiver.  Is this not abuse of the patient?  Is this abuse not driven by ideologues who gain from the harm they cause others?  Should this abuse not be scrutinized until it is eliminated?  Please feel free to read some of these comprehensive healthcare inspection reports from the VA-OIG, see the resulting injuries and problems caused by the failures of government medical providers, and then tell me whether these atrocious actions need more or less scrutiny and qualify for the title abuse.

North Carolinian veterans, VISN 6 is all yours, and would you be shocked to learn that even with newer leadership, moral distress remains a persistent problem in the VA employees throughout VISN 6, which just happens to include Durham, Asheville, Fayetteville, Hampton, Richmond, Salem, and Salisbury North Carolina?  Probably this is not unfamiliar as the patient experience survey scores remain persistently below VA averages, reflecting that new leadership is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.  Interestingly, medical staff credentialing remains a significant concern in North Carolina.

Western New York veterans, especially those receiving patient services in the Buffalo VAHCS, do you agree with the VA-OIG report?  The Buffalo VAHCS includes Buffalo, Batavia, Jamestown, Dunkirk, Niagra Falls, Lockport, West Seneca, and Olean, and the comprehensive report is mystifying to me.  For example, the VA-OIG reports that “Patients generally appeared satisfied with their care.”   At the same time, “Employee survey data revealed opportunities for leaders to improve workplace satisfaction and reduce feelings of moral distress.”  This is a combination not generally found in these CHIP inspection reports.  Something is definitely off, and I would love to know what, especially since the leadership needs significant improvement in identifying and reporting sentinel events.  Do you agree with the VA-OIG findings?  Please let me know your firsthand experiences, for the double-talk in this CHIP report is above what I usually observe.

With almost identical findings and recommendations in the Syracuse NY VAMC’s comprehensive healthcare inspection, covering communities of Syracuse, Auburn, Freeville, Potsdam, Rome, Binghampton, Watertown, and Oswego, NY., I am concerned that the veterans in New York are in as bad or worse shape than Phoenix’s veteran community.  Hence, I have to ask the VA-OIG, has something changed in your measurement and analysis tools to report such disparate findings as “Employee survey data revealed opportunities for leaders to improve servant leadership and decrease employees’ feelings of moral distress.  Patients generally appeared satisfied with the care provided?”  The double-talk level is higher in these CHIPs from NY, which is rarely observed outside of Phoenix and VISN 22.  Two final thoughts on the CHIPs, staff training, continues to be a high-risk finding, and this continues to be a leadership failure for every VAMC/VAHCS/VISN in the VA; why has progress not occurred?  Training is a system, and leadership and organizational risk, system redesign, and improvement is a quality, safety, and value problem of the highest importance; why is action never taken by leadership or the congressional representatives who are expected to scrutinize the executive branch?

28 March 2022, the VA-OIG released their long-awaited annual “Comprehensive Healthcare Inspection Summary Report: Evaluation of Medical Staff Privileging in Veterans Health Administration Facilities, Fiscal Year 2020.”  I have been interested to see what, if anything, the VA had accomplished in improving their medical staff privileging.  If I were a congressional representative, knowing that medical staff continues to harm and kill veterans, I would have been anxiously awaiting to see if the repeated hits from past years had finally been rectified.  Unfortunately, the VA continues to live down to expectations (digging the hole ever deeper), suffers from failed leadership, and the veterans continue to die or suffer abuse.

What did the VA-OIG discover?  Understand, “The OIG conducted detailed inspections at 36 VHA medical facilities to ensure leaders implemented medical staff privileging processes in compliance with requirements.  The OIG subsequently issued six recommendations for improvement to the Under Secretary for Health, in conjunction with Veterans Integrated Service Network directors and facility senior leaders.  The intent is for VHA leaders to use these recommendations to help guide improvements in operations and clinical care at the facility level.  The recommendations address findings that may eventually interfere with the delivery of quality health care.”  The OIG identified deficiencies with focused and ongoing professional practice evaluation, provider exit review, and state licensing board reporting processes.  Specifically:

    • use of minimum criteria for selected specialty licensed independent practitioners’ focused professional practice evaluations
    • inclusion of service-specific criteria in ongoing professional practice evaluations
    • completion of ongoing professional practice evaluations by other providers with similar training and privileges
    • recommendation by executive committees to continue licensed independent practitioners’ privileges based on professional practice evaluation results
    • completion of provider exit review forms within seven business days of licensed independent practitioners’ departure from a medical facility
    • the signing of exit review forms by service chiefs, chiefs of staff, and medical facility directors if licensed healthcare professionals failed to meet generally accepted standards of care
    • initiation of state licensing board reporting within seven business days of supervisors’ signatures on exit review forms to indicate licensed healthcare professionals failed to meet generally accepted standards of care.

The OIG found ongoing issues from the fiscal year 2019 CHIP summary report that warranted repeat recommendations for improvement.  The OIG issued three repeat recommendations related to the following:

    • inclusion of minimum specialty criteria for focused professional practice
      evaluations
    • inclusion of service-specific criteria in ongoing professional practice evaluations
    • recommendation by executive committees of the medical staff in continuing licensed independent practitioners’ privileges based on professional practice evaluation results.

Boiling the findings of the VA-OIG down, essentially, the administrators and leadership are not weeding out poor and horrible practitioners, reporting these underperforming practitioners, and not acting in the best interests of the veterans seeking care at VAMCs and VAHCSs across the country.  I repeat, only for emphasis: Is this not abuse of the patient?  Is this abuse not driven by ideologues who gain from the harm they cause others?  Should this abuse not be scrutinized until it is eliminated?  Please feel free to read some of these comprehensive healthcare inspection reports from the VA-OIG, see the resulting injuries and problems caused by the failures of government medical providers, and then tell me whether these atrocious actions need more or less scrutiny and qualify for the title abuse.  The link to the full report is available; please feel free to make your conclusions and post your thoughts in the comments section.

On a final note for today, consider with me the problems of the Atlanta VAHCS with pallets of unopened mail containing patient health information, community care provider claims needing payment, and a plethora of other unopened mail.  Understand that when community care providers cannot obtain compensation from the VA, they go to the veterans, who then send in correspondence, which is unopened, thus causing more problems, concerns, and issues for an already abused veteran community!  Want your head to explode?  Look at the pictures the VA-OIG helpfully sent along with this VA-OIG report, and ask yourself if any other business or organization could get away with this type of abuse of the customer.

What did the VA-OIG find?  Well, prepare for your head to explode, again:

    • VA Leadership should have established a formal agreement explicitly detailing each office’s responsibilities.
    • VA HCS leaders did not include responsible managers in decision-making discussions and lacked a clear understanding of the volume of mail processing work they were accepting.
    • Atlanta VA HCS did not ensure mailroom staff was adequately prepared or trained to handle or sort the influx of mail. POM (Payment Operations Management) officials were later reluctant to help, citing the verbal agreement.

Buried in the report is this tidbit, “POM is implementing similar transitions at sites across the country; POM and medical facilities need to ensure adequate staff with sufficient training to handle the mail processing workload.  VA concurred with the OIG’s five recommendations.”  Meaning that in a VAMC/VAHCS near you, unopened mail due to verbal agreements will soon add more distress and disgust to the veteran experience.

I have documented in these articles how verbal agreements, verbal standards of work performance, and verbal processes and procedures are the problem and way of life in too many CHIPs and observed practices at the VA.  Yet, these verbal shenanigans are more apparent than in the dilemma Atlanta faces due to unopened mail.  Payment operations to community care providers are on a controlled and fixed timeline.  Failure to process these payments according to the required timeline leaves providers unpaid, which diminishes the community care provider pool of providers.  Talk to a community care provider, and they will discuss the risks of doing business with the VA and the real possibility of not being paid timely enough or being caught in sufficient red tape never to receive payment.

I know of a provider who called me three years after receiving care and was still trying to appeal and correct the paperwork to receive payment.  A provider recently contacted me who wanted to ruin my credit for failing to pay the balance due from care received, and they are charging interest.  Correcting this problem cost me 48 business hours, 20 calls, and frustrations galore.  By the way, the problem still has not been rectified, an appeal is in process, and we have to wait for the VA to make a decision; this incident was caused by the VA changing the process and the paperwork.  The provider told me they are not accepting any more veterans seeking care, the risk is too significant, the timeline to receive payment is too long, and the VA never pays what is charged.  For example, I recently received a declaration declaring payment to a community care provider.  The VA sent me to this provider, which means they knew the prices beforehand and agreed to the fees.  The declaration declared the VA was charged $2,000 and paid $120, not actual amounts, but close enough to communicate the problem.  With inflation, or without inflation, if you were paid less than 1/10th of what you billed (invoiced), would you continue to conduct business with that company or organization?  Now add the unopened mail problem to the mix.  Would you continue to conduct business with this entity?

America, the Department of Veterans Affairs is sick.  All of the other alphabet agencies in the Federal Government are sick.  We continue to elect people who actively refuse to care enough to act according to their mandated duties.  We cannot afford the government we currently have, which is part and parcel of the problem with inflation in America right now!  Debt is entered into to pay for this bloated feckbeast called government; from the city to the federal government, the bloat is too great to be sustained!  Why is the VA able to skirt responsibility, accountability, and improvement?  They can hide behind the size of their convoluted and twisted organizational shield.  Why can the Post Office and the IRS get away with deplorable, at best, customer service?  They are protected by the congress refusing to scrutinize and hold people accountable.  When your head is done exploding, please remember and act in the ballot box to hire better representatives!

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

I Need the WHY!

?u=http3.bp.blogspot.com-CIl2VSm-mmgTZ0wMvH5UGIAAAAAAAAB20QA9_IiyVhYss1600showme_board3.jpg&f=1&nofb=1By now, the entire world knows the who, as in the central characters in the farrago and cheap Kabuki Theater that has been our lives since 2020.  The list of nefarious and detestable characters leads only to politicization, chaos, and right now, the names of these characters need no further introduction.  I will not name these repugnant rapscallions any longer.

We are fully clear on the where, as in, we know the whereabouts of how this global Kabuki-Style charade originated.  Frankly, unless the consequences include the “Ryan Doctrine” and an entirely new government in China, additional discussion is moot at this point.  If you are unfamiliar with the “Ryan Doctrine;” it is a reference to John Patrick Ryan, the fictional character from Tom Clancy’s books, who claimed that if it is okay to send some 19-year-old kid to war, the political leaders are fair game, as much as that poor-kid ordered into battle.  Long have I supported this belief, having served in the US Army and the US Navy, listening to the political hosts banging the drums of war against Russia.  I am fully on board with the political leaders being in the same boat as the kids whose lives they are throwing away.

The what at this point is pretty simple; COVID-19 is a virus that was experimented into being through “gain of function” research.  As Senator Dr. Rand Paul has discussed ad nauseum ad infinitum with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the gain of function research scientists take a virus found in nature and make that virus more deadly and transmissible in a laboratory for human endangerment.  While the NIH continues to play “find the pea” games with the definition of gain of function, the simple version is stated and sufficient to my purposes.Knowledge Check!

The how is also pretty clear by now; the inability to close human interactions at the beginning of this virus debacle has led to the deaths of many people.  Human interactions are the number one problem in stopping the spread of any airborne, highly transmissible virus.  From the flu to pneumonia, and from SARS to MERS (two highly contagious and lethal upper respiratory viruses), and all the diseases in between, humans interacting is both the cure and the problem.  The problem, these viral diseases are spread through the air, and we share a lot of air between people.  The cure because sharing the virus, in its many variations, is how immunity in populations is increased.

Let me pause here for a moment.  Let’s talk about risk.  The risks you choose to onboard are how you build a life.  My risk tolerance is different from your risk tolerance, and while we might share some levels in our risk tolerances, we will be different, and in being different, we choose what to be exposed to, how, when, where, and why.  Humans have been making and exercising this freedom since the days of Adam and Eve and will continue to make this choice, without, and sometimes with, government boots on necks.

Where you set, your risk tolerances are choices, where you as an individual are exercising your moral agency.  These choices come with natural consequences.  For the government to interject and impose themselves into your risk tolerance decisions is immoral, unethical, and according to the US Constitution, illegal and illicit actions, and not only under the first amendment.  Please see my other articles on the topic for a more in-depth review of the US Constitution.

QuestionAs we have experienced these last two years, the when is pretty apparent, and restating more on when is wildly redundant.  However, since the Internet is forever, let me only stipulate the government has been running amok since 2000.  The gain in government over liberties, rights, and freedoms in the populations with representative government has only sharply increased since 2020.  It remains imperative that government from the city to the Presidential office needs serious reprimanding, shrinking, and curtailing!

Repeating only for emphasis, I need the WHY!  Why were all the pre-pandemic plans, government exercises, and 200-years of research in basic virology and virus management thrown away during this COVID-Kabuki?  Why have so many bureaucrats become rich, famous, and hailed as “the science” when basic science has been ignored, shunted to the side, and criticized?  Science is constantly debated, doubted, discussed, and repeatedly tested in a research laboratory and the real world.  Physics leaders debate gravity; medical researchers are always learning something new, reporting something new, and then testing the new to prove it has worth and value for study and learning.  Every field of science is learning through testing, re-testing, discovery, debate, and discussion of doubts.

Yet, for the last two years, all doubting of published, and heavily politicalized science, has been squashed by the thumb of government, and I need to know WHY!  Drugs helpful in treating the flu were refused for COVID, even though previous studies, done by the big names in the NIH, were politicalized, pushed out, and refused to people suffering; why?  Masks were mandated, even though every manufacturer is forced, by legislation, to admit these masks do no good in stopping viral particulate from entering the mask.  The body of research is growing discussing the efficacy of wearing masks during surgery and reflects that those wearing masks harm the patients’ undergoing procedures from doctors and nurses wearing the mask, increasing the potential for sepsis post-procedure.The Duty of Americans

Why are patients harmed; the mask was ONLY ever intended to help curb droplets of bacteria born from the mouth and nose of the medical personnel from dropping into the wounds and surgical area of the patient until new technology could be derived.  Follow the history of masks from cotton to paper and reusable to disposable, and you the truth is obvious.  Research is being conducted on the germ storm created on the front or outside of the mask that the doctor is then blowing onto the patient’s wounds.  Basic science can logically explain and expound upon this topic.  Unfortunately, as what occurred in 1846 to Doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, those with political power and a modicum of medical training are treating those discussing, debating, and doubting established “science” wickedly and immorally, while pointedly refusing and trying to dispel everyone who disagrees.

By the way, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was the doctor who championed hand washing and cleaning instruments between patients with a chlorine solution.  Consider medical treatment today; how many of you want your doctor or nurse not to wash their hands between patients?  Wear gloves?  And have ready access to sterilized medical instruments?  Another hot topic in hospital safety is pharmaceutical-resistant bacteria, viruses, and easily transmissible diseases in hospitals.  Want a topic to scare the hell out of you; read any paper on the problems with controlling sepsis, an easily spread illness for any patient having a medical procedure, where droplets of bacteria drop into the wound, sometimes from the masks of those performing the procedure.

Frankly, I prefer to see medical personnel in face shields rather than masks.  It is easier to hear the medical professional, the face shield is easily cleaned with alcohol one-time use swabs/pads, and I can listen to the doctor/nurse.  Plus, the same droplet control is achieved without the danger of passing droplets of bacteria into an open wound by surgical and medical personnel.  Upon looking at the research on masks endangering patients, how many medical professionals will switch to face shields and away from masks voluntarily?  Well, Dr. Semmelweis’ history shows us the answer is less than zero!  Why does history repeat itself so often; many people refuse to learn history to avoid repeating history.  But the real reason is that people with power refuse to listen to those with ideas and no power.  Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis died of the same disease he fought in maternity wards, sepsis (previously known as childbed fever).

VaccineWant to really be freaked out, scared into mental distress; read what the CDC reports on hand hygiene in hospitals and doctor’s clinics.  Very few medical professionals adhere to hand hygiene protocols to the detriment of the patient!  Yet, since 1846, almost 200-years, hand hygiene has been known as the best course of action to prevent spreading diseases, except the number one reason doctors and nurses don’t wash their hands is their personal beliefs.  I want to know why medical professionals, who are supposed to be embedded in learning and discovery, refuse simple science when it stares them in the face, resist common sense and logic, and inflate their egos when questions are asked.  Ever ask a doctor or nurse when the last time they washed their hands?  I was threatened with being kicked out of an ER for asking this question, wounds untreated, pain issue not resolved, all for asking the ER doctor if he had washed his hands recently.

Why did the WHO, the CDC, and so many other repositories of international science refuse 16-years of dedicated science about mask-wearing in the community and agree with the governments to force mask mandates onto the populations?  What changed in science; nothing!  What powered mask mandates; politics!  Where did masking healthy people as young as two-years-old originate; the warped and twisted minds of someone making a ton of money on mask manufacturing!  How did the masking of healthy people work out; it killed them through suicide, fear of hospitals, and through a fake sense of protection!  Want to know a truth; all of this was known, recognized, and understood through multiple studies, government training exercises, and real-world research as early as 2000.

Exclamation MarkI have to know why!  As a life-long learner, as a student of human interactions, an observer of groups of people and individuals, the why is the driving force in the five questions of study (who, what, when, where, how, and WHY).  I have been told to “Follow the money,” guess what, the money and the origin are similar.  I have been told, “It is political;” well, if that was true, where did the opposing party go?  I have been instructed, pointedly, by Federal Police Officers as they were arresting me because I physically cannot wear a mask.  My questions are ill-timed, inappropriate, and a public nuisance.  The political pandemic is all but concluded; my questions are not ill-timed anymore.  I want answers!  If this was a political exercise with a global bio-weapon, as postulated in March/April 2020.  In that case, I want the opposition party to start asking bureaucrats questions and drill down to answers!  It’s called scrutiny; exercise your elected responsibility!

As instructed in the book authored by Simon Sinek, “Start with Why!”  Why did governments steal power, authority, and liberty to demand mask adherence?  Why did the government push vaccination of a new and unstudied vaccine technology?  Why were effective drugs canceled to fit a political narrative while people were dying?  Why was a virus politicalized in the first place?  Look at the timing, and ask why the virus was released when it was released?  It is abundantly clear that the Wuhan Laboratory is deeply involved, which means the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is deeply engaged, and people died.  Why can’t the world’s people hold the CCP liable for the virus release and resulting harm?  Why can’t Fauci be held responsible for investing taxpayer dollars, against the order of the sitting US President, in the gain of function research?

When asking who got richer, ask why they appeared to force non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI’s) when these people stood to gain financially from those mandates of government?  Why did congressional representatives in the United States gain in measures above and beyond average market gains, all while people they were expected to represent in government died?Gravy Train 3

Before another question is asked, the media needs to answer why are they the voice box and cheer-leading squad of politicians?  In all representative governments, the media is supposed to be the third party, a neutral source, and a voice of the masses.  Why did the media forsake their job?  Why is the media always the lapdog of the liberal and progressive (regressive) parties?  Why did the press sell its heritage for a bowl of pottage?

Since the media refuses their job, and big technology is tied hand and foot to the press and politicians, like a warped three-legged race, why are the taxpayer dollars being used to enrich big-tech companies?  Why is a publicly-traded entity, big tech companies (LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, Twitter, etc.), allowed into government offices?  Isn’t this the very epitome of insider trading?  Why is big tech even allowed to influence the government?  I need the why!

Why did the government take lists of the unvaccinated?  The political left has no morals, no compunction, and biggering the government is their god.  The political left is known for using any means necessary to get what they want.  Worse, the political left, and right, have proven untrustworthy, immoral, and unethical.  What happens next should be the second question answered after why!Detective

Finally, why did the religious leaders walk in lockstep with the government?  Sweden’s results are from following sound science, and they are better off than everyone else in the world.  Religious leaders have always claimed the moral high ground, even while “rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”  Thus, we must know why the religious leaders did not protect their flocks and show authentic, inspired leadership?  Do you feel cheated by your religious and political leaders?  I have some concerns!

Please, don’t take my word for it.  Look it up.  My references are boldly stated to help you, not prove a point; research can only support a conclusion and proves NOTHING!  I have questions, and my research promotes more questions.  I would see you, dear reader, fully informed and able to ask your own questions.  In an ironic twist of inanity, the CDC reports the following, “glove use is NOT a substitute for cleaning your hands [emphasis inferred and mine].”  The research linked is a peer-reviewed document the CDC provides for doctors to promote more hand hygiene in medical situations.

?u=http3.bp.blogspot.com-CIl2VSm-mmgTZ0wMvH5UGIAAAAAAAAB20QA9_IiyVhYss1600showme_board3.jpg&f=1&nofb=1The science is in; this is a true statement, but changing the hearts and minds of people takes an inordinate amount of time that government interference only worsens!  If you reach different conclusions after conducting your own research, please use the comments to discuss, and include your research.  I am the first person to declare that I know nothing!

References

Miller, Ian.  Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates.  Post Hill Press.  Kindle Edition.

Pittet, D., Simon, A., Hugonnet, S., Pessoa-Silva, C. L., Sauvan, V., & Perneger, T. V. (2004). Hand hygiene among physicians: performance, beliefs, and perceptions.  Annals of internal medicine, 141(1), 1-8.

Vincent M, Edwards P. Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4.  Art.  No.: CD002929.  DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD00292

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

MRSA and COVID – Pandemic Hype Indeed

Bobblehead DollMRSA is shorthand for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a medicine-resistant staph infection that swept America beginning in 1990 —gaining massive popularity in 2017 when it killed more than 10,000 people and hospitalized more than 300,000 in the United States alone.  Worse, of those hospitalized, many had to have large sections of their anatomy excised, limbs removed, and other surgical procedures done to cut away the infected flesh.

As for COVID’s death toll, your guess is as good as mine.  We all know the scandal of the emphasized numbers to obtain greater Federal Money and media attention.  We have all been exposed to the hype and hysteria from infection rates that do not equate to those with frank symptoms, and neither of those numbers equating to those needing hospitalization.  Worse, we all have been front-seat with the PCR testing scandal where a tampon, motor oil, and a host of other non-human samples all tested positive (falsely) for COVID.

When the intentional housing of infected patients with healthy residents in long-term care facilities is added to this COVID-drama, they shouldn’t be, for these are victims of murder, and the governors need to be held accountable for their deaths; nothing but confusion in statistics reigns.  Unfortunately, all this and more is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the statistics in the highly politicized COIVD-debacle we are living through.The Duty of Americans

One point of significant contention is the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic.  An epidemic is when a disease (bacterial or viral) spreads over a large geographical area, and many different people simultaneously take ill.  A pandemic takes an epidemic one step further and is a political decision, as the illness spreads across national borders infecting larger numbers of people.  MRSA for all the people killed, in all the different countries, and health systems, has only ever achieved epidemic status.  The Spanish Flu (1918) for all the people killed, in all the different countries infected, only achieved epidemic status.  As a point of reference, the Spanish Flu (1918) is a confusion of terms between pandemic and epidemic, and depending upon the source; you can see the media hype of the flu.  MRSA, like the annual Flu, Chicken Pox, Mumps, Measles, and Rubella, are still just as effective at killing people, and we do not shut down the globe for these viral infections.  Yet, nobody in the world’s governments wants to discuss why COVID has been given this treatment.  But, I digress; let’s get back to MRSA.?u=http3.bp.blogspot.com-CIl2VSm-mmgTZ0wMvH5UGIAAAAAAAAB20QA9_IiyVhYss1600showme_board3.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Please note, while hospitals are on track to meet a 50% reduction in MRSA and bloodstream infection reductions, this does not mean that other places MRSA pops up will meet these same reductions.  MRSA causes outbreaks under specific conditions, typically in crowded areas with inadequate hygiene, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment.  Hence, MRSA is prevalent in gyms, dressing rooms, daycare facilities, and any place where human body fluids can sit on a surface shared by other humans.  Hence, before going further, I urge informed caution where MRSA is concerned.  Ask about decontamination of hard surfaces, cleaning habits, and customs, and when in doubt, ask for more information before participating.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in partnership with Janssen Research and Development, found some interesting results in protecting the body from MRSA by boosting the body’s immune system.  These results are interesting because until COVID came along, medicine generally wanted to stimulate the body’s immune system first, then look at vaccines and drugs.  But, since COVID came along, doctors want to revert to what created MRSA, an overabundance and reliance upon vaccines and medicines instead of boosting the body’s immune system.Vaccine

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the 1990s.  MRSA is breaking onto the scene and scaring the living daylights out of medical professionals.  This new staph infection is resistant to every drug known to man and kills rapidly once the skin infection gets into the blood.  Sepsis deaths which had been trending down for a decade, were spiking.  People went to the hospital for a routine checkup and died of skin infections horribly a few days later.  Research quickly discovers this is a staph infection, quickly realizes it is drug-resistant, and new practices are needed in cleaning and disinfecting to prevent this from spreading.  But, the first step was to boost the body’s natural immunity.  Vitamin C, D, E, and Fish Oils, were discussed as options to be added to some diets.  Exercise, diet, and weight loss became much more important topics, and the reason why was witnessed on the evening news.  We saw patients lose limbs; a patient lost their nose; a patient went swimming in a pond and died horribly shortly thereafter.Pressure Injuries - Example

I mention MRSA because common sense, research, and boosting the body’s immune system work, as historical data supports, to protect communities from large health problems and viral outbreaks.  Masks, isolation, expensive government mandates and vaccines, do not protect communities from health problems.  Many media pundits have cited the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic as comparative to COVID.  What’s the difference, the most significant difference between 1918s Spanish Flu and 2020 COVID, government interference, and media hyperventilation!

What’s the difference between the ongoing MRSA battle, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives annually in the United States and millions of lives globally, and COVID?  Government intrusion and media hyperventilation.  Back in the 1990s, Dr. Fauci was still relatively unknown in the pantheons of NIH and was still misinforming about AIDS/HIV.  By 2018, Dr. Fauci has reached the pinnacle of his lackluster career, and he needs a pandemic to come along to help his career into the spotlight of historical immortality.  In the 1990s, the president was a Clinton, and the media adored his every breath.  In 2016 the president was detested by the media, and a solution to his popularity needed to be generated.Apathy

MRSA has killed and maimed more people globally than COVID ever will; yet, MRSA, while being more deadly and dangerous, is relatively unknown outside medical centers, and the media hypes about COVID non-stop.  Ever stop to ask yourself why?  Common sense medicine is still the best method for preventing and healing after an MRSA infection.  It would be the same for COVID except for the political environment that shut down inexpensive and effective drugs.  Ever stop to ask yourself why?

The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) has a graph of MRSA infection rates by country reporting.  Romania is on top with the worst rates of hospitalized MRSA, Iceland has the best rates of non-infection, and the numbers appear to be current as of 2004.  Yes, that data is 17 years or so old and can be taken with a grain of salt.  However, it does provide an interesting view on MRSA infections.  Not all MRSA infections are reported equally.Plato 3

The main MRSA reported and tracked are those where the infection can be reliably proved to have originated in a hospital—leaving infections from gyms, locker rooms, sports equipment, daycare centers, schools, etc., all open for speculation and wonder.  Not good policy on something this dangerous and easily spread from person to person.  I worked in a call center that was threatened with being shut down if infectious pink eye (a staph infection) was not brought under control.  Pink-eye was spread around that call center so often, and so prevalently, the health department threatened drastic and dire measures if the business did not take action.  Yet, MRSA, another staph infection, isn’t even tracked and reported.  Ever ask yourself why?  Ever wonder why some infections and communicable diseases are reported to death and others never even get mentioned?

Knowledge Check!Please let me repeat myself, and I repeat myself only for emphasis; we live in a world of risk.  The government, any government, cannot control the risk of living.  We, the citizenry, should never expect the government to attempt to control the risks of living, for that is the road of tyranny and oppression.  The government is only a tool; the tool should be used sparingly and only in times of greatest need for the greatest good of all citizens.  When the tool of government is overused, tyranny and oppression are the only results, and the citizens will weep in frustration and anger at the governments’ largesse!  MRSA is a risk we undertake to enjoy a social activity, exercising in a gym.  MRSA is an activity we expose our children to when we send them to school, for the benefits outweigh the potential risks.  The risks of runaway government are being felt right now; what are we willing to do to fix that problem?

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Enthusiasm and Confidence – The Power Tools to Conquer

Laughing OwlIn a job interview, the interviewer asked me for my two greatest strengths and why.  The following article represents both my answer and my desire to see others understand.  The interviewer thought I was insane by the look of disgust on their face; needless to say I was not hired.  When I asked why; the answer amazed me.  My strengths were too strong for their culture.  Let that sink in for a moment; a confident and enthusiastic person was not a good fit for their organization.  Maybe, just maybe, free societies should be taking a new look at these age-old tools for changing the world.

What is Enthusiasm?

Henry Chester is quoted as saying, “Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. It is no more or less than faith in action.”  As a point of fact, this is the first quote I took time and a ton of energy to memorize.  Enthusiasm represents intense interest, eagerness, enjoyment, and a desire for approval beyond the simple desire of peer acceptance.  Enthusiasm also arouses feelings and originates via Latin from enthusiasmus, meaning inspiration and frenzy.  From the Greek, we learn the etiology of Enthusiasm stems from “enthousiazein ‘be inspired or possessed by a god’ (based on theos ‘god’)”  The etiology of Enthusiasm makes Henry Chester’s point more perfectly when a person considers the power and origination of faith and placing faith upon a power greater than oneself.

Literary FiendConsider those people you have found possessing large amounts of Enthusiasm; can you feel their intensity, frenzy, and eager interest?  I have had this pleasure multiple times, in various locations across the world.  My first experience was with a S. Korean business person riding the subway who was so excited to help and interested that I parted company with a feeling of desiring to be better as a person.  From that day in 1995 to today, I have strived to capture the same level of Enthusiasm as this business person in gratitude for his kindness and example of Enthusiasm.

What are you enthusiastic about?

Recently I was hired to be a data analyst for warehouses, and I sit as an advisor to the warehouse operations team to use data analysis to improve decision-making.  I cannot describe in words how enthusiastic I am every day to wake up and learn something new about data analysis, the tools of database data mining, and keeping my boots dirty and hands greasy in operations.  Ever since I got injured in the US Navy, I have tried to be what I knew, and the journey to this position has been great and dreadful, but each experience has improved how I think, and teach, to improve business operations.  I finally feel I can positively contribute as a handicapped person to the world with this position, and this feeling is incredible!Leadership Cartoon

What is Confidence?

In an effort to not confuse this topic, I have copied the definition of confidence from an earlier writing.  Confidence is a unique term, and Webster spends an inordinate amount of time trying to capture the power of, and reality is confidence.  Confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities; firm trust, a specific feeling  regarding the truth of something, a feeling or belief upon the reliance of someone or something.”  The key to confidence is your own self-assurance.  For example, you are assured through past transactions that your employer is not kiting paychecks.  Your confidence in receiving a salary drives you to be motivated and return to work each day.  When that trust is broken, you will leave and find new employment.  Hence, people do not work for companies, but for managers and leaders, they like.

ToolsConfidence is a reality when many people all trust the same thing, which creates societies, social standards, and governments.  Confidence in the government is expressed using the government’s monetary system to trade for products and services you would not have if you had less confidence in the government system.  Firm trust in the “value of the US Dollar (insert your own currency here)” leads to gains and losses in economic values.  Consider the events of the Christmas Holiday, which is fast approaching.  The individual expresses confidence, faith, and hope in holiday shopping.  The government uses the data of the volume of trades of confidence as a measuring stick in how well they are doing in government to improve a person’s return on investment.  Shopkeepers, stores, and others selling products and services represent a two-way street of faith, hope, and confidence as they trade with customers and with other suppliers, government, and stakeholders in conducting business.

Confidence is never an unconscious decision!  One cannot have firm trust, faith, or hope, in something without being consciously aware and possessing experience and knowledge in that someone or something.  Hence, confidence is the conscious use of trust as a destination in the journey of hope, launched by faith.Grit is a Marathon

What are you confident about?

In the movie “Sound of Music,” Maria sings one of my all-time favorite songs as she leaves the nunnery and takes a bus to her new  role as a nanny, “I Have Confidence.”  I can honestly say, as she does, “I have confidence in me.”  I have talents, skills, knowledge, and experience worth value to me, and that is all I need!  It did not matter to me that my Enthusiasm and confidence were too great for the interviewer’s culture and business; I interviewed my best and allowed the chips to fall where they may.  What are you confident about?  Who are you confident in?  Why do you invest your confidence in those answers?  When do you feel the most confident, and would you like to feel more confident?

Of all the questions asked, the “Why” and the When” questions are some I would love to discuss individually as you make your improvement plans.  Since this is not entirely possible, I offer the following advice from LaRae Quy, an FBI Agent.  The points are hers; the comments are mine.Non Sequitur - Decisions

  1. Take Risks!
    1. In my youth, I climbed trees, lots and lots of trees. In Maine, we had a patch of pine trees growing so close together, the trees had woven a mat out of their uppermost branches, and you could walk on this mat of branches.  Huge risk, great fun!
    2. As a soldier, I was freaked out by how close the Warthog could provide fire support. When the ‘Hog came through, being on the ground was the most intense feeling I have ever experienced.  Huge risk, lots of fun.
    3. As an operations manager, I took an ill-considered risk. I fired the floor supervisor as they refused to train anyone else in doing the jobs they were hired for as a means of job security.  The risk paid off; the remaining team members stepped up to the plate and learned.
    4. Risk requires action; act swiftly, even if it means minor course corrections along the way.
    5. Action includes failure; stop fearing failure! When we understand failure, we know ourselves just a little better and act more smartly!
    6. When in doubt, activate step 5!Bound & Gagged - Near Death
  2. Ask for feedback!
    1. Do you prefer to receive feedback from friends, family, or foes? Some of all, all or none, or something or someone else?
    2. Do you trust those providing feedback sufficiently to act?
    3. Can you tell the difference between feedback and criticism? They are not the same, and in accepting feedback, you need to be able to give feedback.  Hence ask, but never forget to provide feedback.
    4. Never give criticism, even if you think the criticism is “constructive.” There is never, ever, anything “constructive” about criticism!Frank & Ernest - Life Lesson
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice
    1. Missoula Montana, I presume he is retired now, Veteran Employment Specialist, Charlie Brown, genuine person, real name, had a favorite axiom for helping veterans search for work and hang in their job search, “Keep throwing spaghetti at the wall until something sticks!”  Which is all well and good, but to get spaghetti to stick to a wall, you must first cook and drain the spaghetti.  Thus, practice requires preparation.  In case anyone is interested, yes; I have thrown spaghetti against a wall.
    2. Rule of 6-P’s, “Proper Prior Planning, Promotes, Promising, Practice,” is my saying, and I know it works. Practice is a prerequisite to promising performances, but you must prepare properly.  Yes, as a dual-service veteran, I know the other axioms for the Rule of 6-P’s.
    3. See Suggestion 5! Wash, rinse, and repeat!Garfield - Good Explanation Needed
  4. Link up!
    1. Network.
    2. Make acquaintances.
    3. Get to know people!Non Sequitur - This explains so much
  5. Grit Up!
    1. I cannot stress this enough; confidence and Enthusiasm require grit! Lots and lots of grit!
    2. Believe this statement: “Merentur Melius Quam Tu tibi semper sit.” From Latin, meaning, “You will always be better than you deserve.”Grit - Defined
    3. What is “Grit,” you might ask? Grit is a positive, cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a specific long-term goal or end state.  At least, that is what the academics call grit.  Of all the people America remembers who have had a positive and long-lasting influence upon American culture, John Wayne is near the top.  If anyone embodies grit, John Wayne is quoted thusly, “True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be doneNo moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows they should have done.”  In understanding grit, I have oft called upon T. S. Eliot, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.