Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
  #5Thoughts Friday
The "Safety Pin" Edit ion
#5ThoughtsFriday is Powered By :
Thanks to Everyone who helped us turn lemons into lemonade and make BIAMD's First Ever Virtual Silent Auction such an amazing success.
Special Shout Outs to the Generous Donors for all of their wonderful gifts, items, and events and to the Conference Committee for working so hard to find the donations.

Extra Gold Stars and Kudos to the team that brought the Virtual Silent Auction to life, learning as they went:
  • Arin Jayes for coordinating the Silent Auction this year,
  • BIAMD Board Member Julie Karp for crushing it on donations and hard work,
  • Chris Schaffer for keeping track of the items and sending out the thank yous,
  • Jess Nesbitt and Catherine Rinehart Mello for jumping in where needed and, especially,
  • Caitlin Exline Starr who figured out all the particulars of the Online Auction, set everything up, took most of the photos, and monitored it throughout the process.

And a huge BRAVO and Thanks to One and All who supported us by bidding on our items this year. Now, more than ever, with all of the chaos going on around us, we sincerely appreciate your ongoing support.
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Photo by  Ross Sneddon  on  Unsplash
5) Social Isolation in the Age of COVID-19 -
A Toolkit for Everyone
In the fourth week of the coronavirus stay-at-home order, many of us are feeling the long-term effects of social distancing, a strategy that the CDC has recommended in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. While social distancing is incredibly important to protect individuals with compromised immune systems from succumbing to COVID-19, it is also creating a forced period of social isolation that is challenging to adapt to.

Research indicates that living a socially isolated life has enormous  health consequences , frequently contributing to worsening chronic disease burden, depression and anxiety, and functional and cognitive decline. Social isolation leads to changes on a cellular level that can create chronic inflammation, making lonely people more susceptible to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. A 2015 meta-analysis, which included 70 studies of 3.4 million participants, found that lonely individuals had a 26% higher risk of  premature death —or 32% if they lived alone. Loneliness kills. It poses a greater threat to health than obesity, and its life-shortening effects are comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Aguillard, 2020).
As many in the brain injury community are pointing out, the current lockdown mirrors previous experiences with social isolation during recovery. In her article for Curbed , TBI survivor Amanda Chicago Lewis writes, “As I’ve been watching everyone else living in the way that I have been living for the past two years, what’s occurred to me is that the adjustment period is the hardest period. Now that I’ve sort of adjusted to a quieter life, and a smaller life, I developed this understanding that the initial phase where you take something away is really scary and really difficult. It gets better, though. Humans have this bananas ability to adjust.” 

CLICK HERE to read more of Arin's helpful.

Zoom Room Support Group Meeting for Caregivers

If you're missing your in-person Brian Injury Caregiver Support Group due to cancellations but still would like to join in with others caring for a Brain Injury Survivor, please join our Zoom Room Support Group Meeting for Caregivers this Sunday evening from 7:30-8:45pm (Eastern Time).
Login with this link:
Find out more information on our website:  
or contact Tom Gallup at
Photo by  Dimitri Karastelev  on  Unsplash
A letter to my abled friends,

These are strange and difficult times for so very many of us right now as we experience collectively a global pandemic that changes the way we live our lives and experience the intimacies of our day to day realities as well as our basic assumptions over safety and security as we wrestle with lack of control in the presence of so much unknown. And by us I mean both abled and disabled humans, this far reaching experience where we are a collective “we.” Many of us are living in isolation, staying at home and having limited contact with others in person; many are losing work at rapid rates because of this.

And, there are also distinct differences between my experience as a chronically ill disabled person and the experience I witness you, my abled friends and fellow humans having in this current pandemic. The distinction is striking and it has made a difficult experience all the more painful and gutting, this layer of anger and sadness that gets stuck in my throat and makes it hard to connect.

Comparing suffering as if there is a hierarchy has never seemed that useful and usually only serves to make others defensive, and that is not what I want to create here. I am not diminishing the hardship or challenges that anyone is facing now in this moment, as growing numbers become sick without needed care, nor am I claiming that I can know the particulars of your own unique situation and what it is like day in and day out in your own lived experience. What I do want to offer is a window into what the experience is like for me, as a chronically ill disabled person living in the time of COVID-19. My hope is that in doing so, there is the possibility of acknowledging and reckoning with the ableism that has permeated our entire way of doing and being, and that we begin to work together to re-imagine and create new ways that do not leave anyone behind.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Isabel Abbott's heartfelt letter.
Photo by  Sharon McCutcheon  on  Unsplash
Doctors have observed neurological symptoms, including confusion, stroke and seizures, in a small subset of
Covid-19 patients.
Neurologists around the world say that a small subset of patients with Covid-19 are developing serious impairments of the brain.

Although fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the typical hallmarks of infection with the new coronavirus, some patients exhibit altered mental status, or encephalopathy, a catchall term for brain disease or dysfunction that can have many underlying causes, as well as other serious conditions. These neurological syndromes join other unusual symptoms, such as diminished sense of smell and taste as well as heart ailments.

In early March, a 74-year-old man came to the emergency room in Boca Raton, Fla., with a cough and a fever, but an X-ray ruled out pneumonia and he was sent home. The next day, when his fever spiked, family members brought him back. He was short of breath, and could not tell doctors his name or explain what was wrong — he had lost the ability to speak.

The patient, who had chronic lung disease and Parkinson’s, was flailing his arms and legs in jerky movements, and appeared to be having a seizure. Doctors suspected he had Covid-19, and were eventually proven right when he was finally tested.

CLICK HERE to read more about this newest type of brain injury.
2) What We are Reading This Week on its 95th Birthday and Know You Will Enjoy
A true classic of twentieth-century literature, this edition has been updated by Fitzgerald scholar James L.W. West III to include the author’s final revisions and features a note on the composition and text, a personal foreword by Fitzgerald’s granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan—and a new introduction by two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. First published on April 10, 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

CLICK HERE and re-read a classic for the first time.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."

Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by  Jenny Caywood  on  Unsplash

Did you enjoy #5ThoughtsFriday? If so, please forward this email to a friend! 

Got a story we need to follow or share? Send it to .  

  Please let us know your requests and suggestions by emailing us at

  Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Let us know! Just send a tweet to  @biamd1 and put #5ThoughtsFriday in there so we can find it.

This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving BIAMD's #5ThoughtsFriday blog post. BIAMD has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. 

  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.