The Gods Talked

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

So the gods talked
and nothing really happened
until a storm from the south
breached the enclave and blackened.

Then the smallest god of all
stood up and spoke his piece:
Nothing will change ever
Cause the people are not geese—

For geese ride together in the sky,
each takes a turn in front,
and they depend on each other
when the wind becomes too blunt.

If people could lead and follow,
a lot of this would be solved—
so my suggestion to all of us
is let the people evolve.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.”
– Erma Bombeck

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
– Lao Tzu

“Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”
–Vincent Van Gogh

I believe in the potential of medicinal plants–Coronavirus 19

An Essay by Korey J. Brownstein

I believe in the potential of medicinal plants.

As more of us stay-at-home because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we are exposed, more than ever, to misinformation and fake health news on the Internet and other media sources. Health claims that state dietary supplements and natural medicines can prevent or treat COVID-19 are untrue. Vitamin C and chlorine dioxide (a bleach solution marketed as Miracle Mineral Solution or MMS) are two examples. We do not want is another 1918 flu pandemic where the case fatality rate increased due to medication misuse and overdose (Starko 2009).

Because I researched medicinal plants and am the founder of, people are asking me how they can prevent COVID-19. I am at a loss on answering this question. All I can recommend, like many researchers in the biological and health sciences, is to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.

Since dietary supplements are natural, they are perceived as safe. For example, kratom and yohimbe are two supplements that can be deadly. Please do not drink bleach or colloidal silver. Their ability to prevent or treat coronavirus is unknown. But if you must take a supplement, take something that is safer such as Echinacea or elderberry. Research has shown that these herbs may stimulate the immune system. Eat foods rich in vitamin C and zinc instead of taking supplements. The body absorbs vitamins and minerals more readily from food.

We will get through this, but do not die trying like an Arizonan man after he saw President Donald Trump’s hydroxychloroquine tweet.


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Korey Brownstein, Ph.D., received a doctoral degree in Molecular Plant Sciences from Washington State University. His many achievements include the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program, NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology, Don and Mary Ann Parachini Scholarship in Entrepreneurship, NSF Innovation Corps Program, and others. He is the founder of NatureClaim, LLC and a researcher at The University of Chicago.