VIDEO Surgeon General: We Need Science and Faith to Defeat Virus

By Stephanie Martin -April 3, 2020


surgeon general

In an April 2 interview with Focus on the Family, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks about the pandemic as both a scientist and a Christian. Taking questions from Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, Adams acknowledges that the current crisis is “deadly serious” but adds, “There is reason to be hopeful,” both “scientifically and from a faith perspective.”

‘Our book is not yet written’

Despite grim projections of up to 240,000 U.S. deaths, the Surgeon General emphasizes that “those numbers don’t have to be our reality.” He says, “Our book is not yet written, so we need to make sure we’re doing the things that we know work. Social distancing. Keeping six feet away from each other. Teleworking if at all possible. Avoiding non-essential travel.”

If Americans “lean in” to that advice, Adams says, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.” The Surgeon General, an anesthesiologist from Indiana, acknowledges that everyone’s learning on the fly with the novel coronavirus. But he commits to “always try to give you the most accurate information we can when we have it.”

Adams, 45, says he gets frustrated when people put “a political spin” on the pandemic. Public servants are “working hard to try to get to the other side of this,” he says, adding that the crisis will be solved not from Washington, D.C., but “in communities with people coming together and supporting each other to do the right thing.”

Advice on Masks, Safety & Testing

When asked about masks, the Surgeon General admits the issue is “confusing.” While data is being studied, he advises people who do wear a facial covering to wash their hands first and to not touch their face. N95 masks should be reserved for health professionals, he says, and covering your face isn’t a “substitute for social distancing.”

Because “the virus can live for a certain amount of time on hard surfaces,” Adams says, it’s important to clean surfaces often, wash your hands, and avoid touching your face—especially when you’re out in public. With asymptomatic people able to spread the virus, he urges young people against feeling invincible. “Even if you don’t get sick, you could be the one taking [germs] home to your nana,” he says. “We don’t want to unnecessarily scare people, but we want them to have appropriate caution.” 

Regarding testing, the Surgeon General says more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests are being administered daily. He also explains the difference between diagnostic testing, which is geared toward the high-risk population and health workers, and surveillance testing, which will guide public policy about when parts of America can start to reopen.

Faith and Family Are Key

Adams, 45, also speaks about the crisis on a personal level. Though he’s had to be away from his own family lately, he calls stay-at-home orders “an opportunity” to interact without screens. “Social distancing doesn’t mean social disengagement,” he reminds people, adding that it’s okay to give blood, safely check on neighbors, and be active outdoors so “we don’t go stir crazy.”

As a Christian, Adams believes “God always has a plan,” and he ponders biblical examples of God putting people where they need to be, not where they’re comfortable. “The most powerful thing you can do for me is to pray for me to hear what [God] is trying to tell me,” he says. The Surgeon General also requests prayer for first responders, medical workers, and others on the front lines.

Being a scientist and a Christian “aren’t mutually exclusive,” says Adams, adding that right now it’s more important than ever “to lean on your faith.”

Original here

What to do when your child has thoughts of suicide

BY KELLY ROSATI Sep 19, 2019

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is not something anyone wants to think about, much less become familiar with. I have spoken often with despondent parents whose worst nightmare has become reality—their child has expressed thoughts of suicide. They are terrified, and no one they know talks about it. And when it happens to us as parents, we often have no idea what to do. Because we’re scared in the moment, our decision-making is clouded.

Caring for your child

This article is simply the parent-to-parent support I wish I’d had when those moments presented themselves. I share this with full permission of my kids who have experienced suicidal ideation and, thankfully, survived. Three of our four children have experienced these horrible thoughts. The combination of early trauma and mental illness takes a devastating and debilitating toll on their brains. But we nevertheless share a fierce conviction that we want these experiences to be able to comfort others with the comfort God gave us (2 Cor.). Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way:

First, take this seriously. You will likely feel terrified, but the most important thing is to project love and nurture for your child like never before. Please show up for them in the most nurturing and loving way you can, even if you feel like they are being dramatic, seeking attention, or not counting their blessings. Beg God to help you; he will. Don’t minimize their pain, sermonize to them, or try to reason with them. Instead, be compassionate, tender, and fully attentive.

The second most important thing is to be calm and confident with your child. On the inside, you will likely feel anything but. You can say something like, “Sweetheart, I’m so glad you shared this with me, everything is going to be OK. We’re going to get you the help you need, and we’ll be right there with you every step of the way. You won’t always feel this terrible.”

Third, get professional help ASAP. Christian brothers and sisters, unless your pastor is a licensed clinical mental health provider, professional help is not the pastor or youth pastor. By all means, inform them later for prayer and practical support, but right now your child needs professional help. Don’t let fear prevent you from getting them what they need.

If your child has thought about a suicide plan, keep them in the line of sight at all times, even if that “feels excessive.” If your child is a danger to himself or anyone else, call 911 immediately. You may feel like you’re overreacting, but the old adage exists for a reason: better safe than sorry. If it’s safe to (for example, you have another person to sit with your despairing child while you drive, and you have safety locks on the doors), go ahead and drive straight to an ER to start the process of a behavioral health assessment and evaluation. Before this situation happens, know the behavioral health crisis lines, walk-in centers, or psychiatric hospitals in your city.

If your child’s suicidal condition meets criteria, he or she might be put on an involuntary hold for his or her own safety. This means that for a short period of time, the hospital has the legal authority to ensure the safety of your child. It’s always best to authorize your child’s admittance voluntarily if the professionals deem it’s warranted so they don’t have to exercise the legal option of an involuntary hold.

Parents, if this happens, it may feel like the world is coming to an end. I have spent literally hundreds of days in psychiatric hospitals. I have wept in their halls outside the view of my child. It isn’t as horrible as it feels. Your world is not coming to an end, and neither is your child’s. Your child is getting the professional help he or she needs, and you, as their loving and responsible parents, are making sure of that. Stay nurturing, calm, and confident for and around your child.

If your child is admitted, assure him that while it’s scary, it’s good that he is getting help and that he’ll be back home just as soon as he is healthy and ready. Assure him you’ll talk on the phone and visit often.

And repeat often how proud you are of her for voicing her feelings; how brave she is for receiving help; how, while she can’t know this now, you know she’ll not always feel this way. Tell her it’s okay if she doesn’t have hope—she can borrow yours.

Caring for yourself

Once you know your child is safe in a professional setting, go ahead and fall apart away from his or her view. Weep, wail, scream, but do not try to keep this inside because of shame, stoicism, or other reasons. You’ll eventually get physically sick if you do, and your child(ren) needs you. Remember, parents, you just safely led your child through a nightmare.

Take one day at a time, and don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles. Keep it simple. Cherish beauty. Rest in Jesus.


Sleep. Take off work if you can. If you have family leave, use it all at once or intermittently in order to set your mind at rest so that you won’t lose your job. If you find yourself barely able to function, abide noise or light, that’s normal.

Be kind and gentle toward yourself and your spouse, and get people praying for all of you. I’d recommend a good Christian counselor for yourself when you have capacity. God is with you. He is near to your broken heart and your child’s whether you can feel him or not.

Find people who love you and will just listen, not offer suggestions or try to fix things. This can be very difficult, but is important. You need those who will mourn with you as you mourn and help you bear your burdens. It’s important that you draw healthy boundaries to protect yourself and your child. You don’t have the capacity to take care of your friends or family who are emotional about what has happened. This might feel mean or rude or different from your usual family dynamics, but you need to prioritize this, or it will crush you, rendering you unable to care for your child in the time of her greatest need.

Please don’t be either reflexively anti-medicine or anti-therapy. There’s always a spiritual component to our lives, so embrace the spiritual but not to the exclusion of the other aspects. And please don’t put this burden and yoke on your suffering child, expecting them to simply pray harder and trust God. If you’ve done that already, just gently and with great love tell them you were wrong and that God loves them and will never leave them alone in their pain.

Don’t be thrown off that the professionals you deal with don’t seem too worked up about your child’s suicidal thoughts. This is their job. Cooperate kindly with them. They have hard jobs. Continue to be your child’s advocate. Be open and willing to hear the counsel the professionals want to give you. Just because you’re a mature Christian who walks with Jesus doesn’t mean you have all the answers for this. Be humble and grateful to them for the work they do.

Once your child has stabilized, make sure to access the step-down care that he or she will need. This may be therapy and psychiatry through either day treatment or outpatient care. Find what’s available, and ask questions. And as much as you’d like to forget this whole episode as a bad dream and get back to life as you know it, don’t minimize it or try to sweep everything under the rug.

Communicate openly with your child and emphasize how smart and brave it is to continue to get the help he needs. Resist the urge to “fix” your child with easy answers. Keep nurturing and loving him. If your child tells you hard things, be unfazed, assuring him that there’s nothing that can push you or God away from him.

This could be a one-time event, or it could be a feature of your child’s serious mental illness. Whatever it is, walk with the One who loves you all, and keep getting professional help. If the help you have isn’t working, keep trying. You may need supernatural endurance and perseverance. I truly can’t count the number of doctors and medicines we’ve gone through in our nearly 10 years of dealing with these issues. It’s exhausting. Take one day at a time, and don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles. Keep it simple. Cherish beauty. Rest in Jesus. Rest in bed. Be outside. Walk. Consider dogs and horses (God does some beautiful therapy for us through them.)

Don’t be surprised if you fall apart physically, emotionally, or relationally when the crisis passes. It’s typical. Be patient with yourself and your family, and get the help you need. This is imperative for survival. Keep taking care of yourself so you can take care of your children.

And be proud that, with God’s grace and wisdom, you just navigated one of life’s toughest situations. You’ll have much to offer the next parent who needs your help walking through this crisis. God never wastes our pain. He won’t waste what you’ve just been through, and he will never leave or forsake you.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7: 1-800-273-8255

Kelly Rosati is the CEO of KMR Consulting. Rosati’s firm offers clients innovative, practical insights and action steps to achieve their strategic goals in communications and community and government relations. Prior to this role, Rosati was the vice president of Community… Read More

VIDEO Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Defends Deeming Churches ‘Essential’



Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) defended deeming churches as “essential” in his stay-at-home order, telling reporters during Thursday’s press conference that the government does not have the authority to close a church and adding that they play an important role, particularly “in times like this.”

DeSantis formally issued a stay-at-home order on Wednesday after days of mounting pressure. The order is designed to “limit their [Floridians’] movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.” Essential activities include picking up groceries, going to doctor appointments, and, notably, attending “religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship.”

DeSantis defended his decision to consider religious services as essential during Thursday’s press conference and stated that he spoke with churches and synagogues “very early on” and asked that they hold their services in a way “that is going to be conducive to this overall mission.”

He said:

One, I don’t think the government has the authority to close a church. I’m certainly not going to do that. At the same time, we got with the churches and synagogues very early and said in times like this, what you guys are doing, I think, is even more important. But we ask that you do it in a way that is going to be conducive to this overall mission. And I would say almost all of them 100 percent agree. Some have gone virtual. Some have had people, but they’ve been spread out far enough.

“I mean you guys are spread out, you know, here in this press conference. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do a church service with people ten feet apart,” DeSantis noted. “So we definitely asked them to absolutely abide by the social distancing guidelines.”

Again, DeSantis stressed the importance of religious services, particularly in times like this:

In times like this, I think the service they’re performing is going to be very important for people, especially when you have difficult circumstances and so do it right. Make sure that you’re following the mission. But I think particularly coming up in the Easter season, I think people are going to want to have access to religious services whether it’s online, whether it’s in a more socially distant type of service. But to have that available I think is very important.

As for the order itself, DeSantis, an ally of President Donald Trump, said the president agreed with his decision.

“I did speak with the president about it,” he said this week. “He agreed with the approach of focusing on the hot spots. But at the same time, he understood that this is another 30-day situation and you gotta just do what makes the most sense.”

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