CON EP 40: Stimulus Checks & Why Covid Vaccines Are Gene Therapies

CON EP 40: Stimulus Checks & Why Covid Vaccines Are Gene Therapies

Stimulus Checks

About 85% of people will receive $1400 stimulus checks. It’s the third stimulus checks given since COVID 19 started. If you’ve filled your 2020 taxes the check will be based on those, if not it will go off 2019 taxes [1]

Qualifying group What the law says
Individuals An AGI of less than $80,000 to qualify for any payment amount
Head of household An AGI of less than $120,000 to qualify for any payment amount
Couple filing jointly An AGI of less than $160,000 to qualify for any payment amount
Dependents of all ages $1,400 apiece, no cap — but only if guardians make under the above limits
Families with mixed US citizenship Provided they meet other qualifications
US citizens living abroad Yes, same as the first two checks
Citizens of US territories Yes, same as the first two checks, with payments handled by each territory
SSDI and other tax nonfilers Yes, but may require an extra step to claim (more below)
Incarcerated people Yes, included this time
People who owe child support Checks can be garnished to cover past due payments (more below)
Disqualified groups Not covered by law
Non-US citizens “Resident aliens” aren’t included
Noncitizens who pay taxes Depends on “mixed-status” rules (more below)


If you’ve had a child in 2021 they won’t be counted towards the stimulus, as of now. 

What is hidden in the Covid relief bill for Bill?

Bill and Malinda Gates foundation is reported to receive 3.5 billion.

The covid relief bill was 1.9 trillion [2]

  • Expanded unemployment benefits until Sept. 6 at $300/week
    • About 57 million people filed for unemployment = 17 billion dollars
  • If 150 million people get 1400 then that equals 210 billion dollars
  • 350 billion to state and local governments
  • 130 billion into schools K-12
  • 40 billion for colleges and universities
  • 28.6 billion to businesses
  • 7.25 billion for the paycheck protection program
  • 50 billion to expand covid testing
  • 15 billion for covid distribution
  • 1 billion to boos vaccine confidence
  • 10 billion for medical supplies and devices. 
  • Increased tax breaks for families with children 
  • 30 billion for low-income households for rent
  • 10 billion for homeowners struggling with mortgages
  • Student loan forgiveness

Adds up to about 1 trillion.


The vaccine is technically a type of gene therapy. The definition of a vaccine ”is a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.” 

The definition of gene therapy is “the application of genetic engineering to the transplantation of genes into human cells in order to cure a disease caused by a genetic defect, as a missing enzyme.”

How is the vaccine different?

Instead of antigen payloads, the vaccine carries copies of the recipe for making the antigen, in the form of RNA, a molecule that stores information.

RNA is a string of chemical units representing, similarly to letters of the alphabet, the genetic code that all living cells use as instructions for producing their component proteins.

The newly licensed COVID-19 vaccines contain myriad identical RNA strands all coding for a critical section of the coronavirus’s spike protein. This protein is easy for the immune system to attack because it sits on the virus’s outer surface. It’s also indispensable to the virus, as it’s absolutely required for entry into our cells; so the virus doesn’t have the option of altering its spike protein, via mutation, to escape immune detection.

The vaccine’s RNA strands are hidden inside of nanoscale fat globules, which keeps our immune systems from flipping out.

The primary target for an RNA vaccine, as for traditional vaccines, is dendritic cells. Which absorb the nano fat globules.

Once inside, the RNA strands make their way to protein-producing power tools called ribosomes.

The ribosomes decipher the strands’ coded instructions and churn out new SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein bits

This triggers an effect similar to traditional vaccines, in which dendritic cells displaying their antigenic trophies on their surfaces race to the lymph nodes to tip off the immune cells hanging out there.

EP 99: Being a Nurse During the Pandemic

In this episode, we would like to talk about what it is like being a nurse during the pandemic. These are challenging times for most nurses, here is our story during the pandemic. 

One of the most difficult aspects of caring for patients with COVID-19 is that we can’t just walk in and chit-chat the way we used to. About 90% of patients are intubated barely holding on to life in the ICU. It takes the human experience out of nursing when you can’t interact with your patient.

It is such a positive experience when your intubated patient finally is able to follow commands like nodding their head to questions or squeezing your hand. Our patients rely on us for human interaction, too. And even that is super-limited now.

Talking points in the episode 

  • How COVID-19 felt like a science experiment at first. We didn’t know how to treat it. The research studies were done on patients basically and we were part of it. Having patients on ECMO, you need heparin for anticoagulation that causes low platelets.
  • We were doing so much oral care, to prevent pneumonia, that we caused bleeding out of their mouth. So we just had to place towels around their mouth to catch it from going down their neck. I can make peace with what I have seen. But for some nurses that are screaming PTSD for fuck sakes. 
  • Doesn’t feel like the government helped the frontline warriors one bit. We have been understaffed, undersupplied this whole pandemic. 
  • Talk about Facetiming with family. 
  • Talk about how busy it is. Managing ECMO, CRRT, Ventilator, all while changing your patients a few times a shift, and soiling dressing with COVID butt.
  • Nurses’ emotional well-being is being challenged like never before by coronavirus, so finding coping strategies is essential
  • Anxiety about patients, the possibility of infecting family members, and the financial impact of the pandemic are still being felt by many nurses
  • Eight in ten nurses in a Nursing Standard survey said their mental health has been affected by COVID-19.
  • Injuries at work from bad posture, limited space between medical devices. 
  • Imagine being a nurse during the pandemic and having two patients die on you in one hour? What is nursing dark humor? He’s the grim reaper. 
  • A Lot of nurses don’t feel support from management. 
  • “Just imagine having to make decisions every day on whether you’re going to fulfill your professional obligation to care for patients versus sacrificing your personal safety or even that of your family because you’re in a situation where you don’t have adequate resources.”  From NBC News. 
  • “We didn’t sign up to be sacrificial lambs. We didn’t sign up to fight a deadly disease without adequate resources,” she said. “We’re told we’re soldiers. Well, you don’t send soldiers to war without a gun and expect them to do their job, but you are doing that to us.” From NBC News.

EP 100: Into Our Lives & Dealing With Drama in The Workplace

Into Our Lives and Dealing with Drama in the Workplace

In this episode, we would like to thank everyone for listening, this is our 100th episode and it’s been an amazing experience being your host. We will talk about our experience working full-time as nurses while trying to run a business. Some updates to what Cup of Nurses is up to and we will talk about dealing with drama in the workplace.

As nurses, we know how valuable our co-workers are, like during a sudden unexpected code, violent patients, and dealing with unstable patients. So why, do we create drama and unnecessary drama at the workplace?

Here’s the truth: We as humans enjoy drama and outrage. Some people get off on it. They like the adrenaline, the cortisol, the rage, and the energy that it brings.

Dive Into Our Life 

Who Matt and Peter are.

How is it being a nurse starting off, we have 4 experiences?

  • How did we get into nursing?

How is it being a nurse during the pandemic?

How is it travel nursing out of state?

How is it being a nurse and an entrepreneur?

  • What is the grind like the life that people don’t see behind the scenes 
  • Podcasting
  • Vlogging

What is in store for Cup of Nurses? 

  • Website
  • Front line warriors
  • 4x4x48 (Donating to a cause)

How are we impacting people in life through what we do?

  • What do we want to change in nursing?

Why Do People Enjoy Conflict and Drama? 

Distraction from focusing on your own life

If you have something or someone to be mad at, it can help you to disengage from looking at yourself deeply. Drama can channel energy away from what you really need to be focusing on.

Drama is a familiarity

Not everyone’s childhood is the same, some people grew up in dysfunctional homes or within families where addiction or trauma was present. This will create chaos, unclear boundaries, and teach people that engaging in conflict dysfunctionally is the way to behave and live your life. We are drawn to what we know.  And they may not know how to disengage and detach healthfully.

Chemicals released during anger can be addicting

Chemicals released in anger can feel addicting. Just like individuals who seek thrills for the adrenaline rush, some people have the same effect from anger. Individuals can become addicted to the endorphins they feel when they get angry.

The car accident phenomenon

This is an interesting viewpoint. Have you ever noticed driving on the freeway on the opposite lane there is a car accident, yet everyone slows down driving the opposite way? We people are prone to slow down if there is a car accident because we just can’t miss out on what is happening. We want to know.

News agencies are constantly feeding this need with incredulous, awful stories that they hope we can’t tear ourselves away from.

There needs to be a call to action if you can relate to any of these points. We hope there isn’t much drama going on in your life. Drama in life brings trauma, old injuries getting reawakened, and it could be keeping you from having a more peaceful and enriched life. 

So why, do we create drama and unnecessary drama at the workplace?

We can admit that we enjoy the attention that drama creates. On the unit, nurses get sucked into your drama, the group around you asking questions and helping you feel justified in your outrage, which can be very satisfying. It’s like a baby if you don’t give it enough attention early on, it will seek attention as they get older regardless of what attention is because that is better than no attention. 

Assessing the drama level in a unit’s culture takes time and leader attentiveness. Being travelers working in different cultures you can see the drama that takes place. Culture is described as the invisible architecture of a unit or organization. It’s a compilation of values, behaviors, actions, and group norms that ultimately becomes the operating system.

Steps to Dial Down Workplace Drama

Don’t interact with staff that aren’t grounded in reality

You can assess a co-worker after working a few shifts with them to see if they enjoy drama. Do they seek multiple viewpoints in a story? If they gossip, react strongly to difficult news, frequently in fight-or-flight, or have interpersonal conflicts, chances are they will see that behavior in their team. 

If they’re calm, cultivate a sense that everyone is on the same side, don’t overreact, don’t gossip, and take a low-key approach to office politics and interpersonal relationships, they’ll reinforce the behavior they want from staff.

Be honest with your co-workers creating workplace drama

Not everyone can be bluntly honest with people, we have no problem with that and say it how it is. Whoever is creating the drama, needs to be called out on their problematic behavior. Ask them these questions:

  • How do you know that your assumptions in this situation are true?
  • How is your behavior contributing to what’s happening here?
  • What ideas do you have for resolving this situation?
  • How can you help improve this situation?
  • What would “great” look like now?

Drama kings and queens need to be reminded that venting doesn’t resolve issues and it only creates doubt and chaos leading to a victim mentality that doesn’t empower staff.

Self-reflection will facilitate serious thoughts about one’s character, actions, and motives. Reflective questioning can help those participating in the behavior get a better understanding of how others experience it.

Establishing new expectations and team values

This is a leadership approach to it. Change in behavior comes from perspective and values we may not be aware of until we encounter someone who thinks differently than we do. In addition to calling out someone, we need to create team norms around low drama and assuming positive intent. These new values could be the following:

  • Don’t engage in gossiping about others.
  • Confirm that information and stories are reality-based before telling them.
  • Practice empathy and demonstrate good intentions toward others.
  • Assume accountability for your own behavior and don’t participate in the blame game.
  • Adopt a solution-focused approach.

Final Thoughts 

Fostering harmony and teamwork is important. Humans are emotional by nature, and where you have emotion you frequently get gossip and drama. Sounds like the perfect hospital setting? Some coworkers will seek attention and further stir the pot.

Looking at the unit as a whole we need to build a culture of accountability with minimal drama that is the key to organizational success and less turnover. Creating a culture that fosters teamwork beings with each and every one of us. When we act as leaders, we reinforce positive behavior and confront old behavior. 





EP 101: Workplace Culture and Patient Ratios With Chrissy Massaro

EP 101: Workplace Culture and Patient Ratios With Chrissy Massaro

Workplace Culture and Patient Ratios With Chrissy Massaro

In this episode, we’d like to welcome Chrissy Massaro. Chrissy is a CRNA that helps young professionals thrive in healthcare. She helps medical professionals improve workplace culture, build resilience, and advocate for safe nurse-to-patient ratios

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get to where you are today?

How was life in the CVICU? Are the memes true? 

When did you realize how prominent negative workplace culture can be? What’s a good way for nurses to improve workplace culture?

Many people still don’t realize how crucial patient ratios are. It leads to a lot of tough shifts, it’s hard to handle but it’s one of the situations where we get it done no matter what. At the moment we get through it, take care of business, and deal with it after work with poor outside of the workplace habits. How important are safe patient ratios?

Medical professionals have the most stressful jobs. There are really challenging sides to those careers, how crucial is it to develop good habits and build resilience inside and outside of the workplace?

When did you realize your talent for TikTok and your obsession with plant-based recipes?

Get to know Chrissy through her Instagram at @chrissycrna.


EP 102: Breaking Past Trauma with Crystal Grant

EP 102: Breaking Past Trauma with Crystal Grant

Breaking Past Trauma with Crystal Grant

We all have traumas at some point in our lives. However, some of us can overcome them easily while others don’t. How can breaking past trauma help us?

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to our guest Crystal Grant, Crystal is a CRNA, author, and entrepreneur. She’s written over 4 books, has her own YT channel, and is the owner of Independent Dreams inc. all while accelerating in a career as a CRNA.

Here’s what we asked Crystal:

Where are you from? How did you end up where you are today? 

You’ve written a book titled Acceptance Granted where you showcase what it takes to be a CRNA, what is the process, and what does it really take to be a CRNA?

One of the hardest things to do is to get into CRNA school, and it’s frustrating because you don’t have full control of what school you will go to or who will accept you. You’ve had a difficult process getting in. How did you feel? When you got those nos what made you keep applying and keep striving to get in? I feel like most people would have quit. How do you deal with tough situations?

The cost for becoming a CRNA is high, people that enter the CRNA field completely devote all their hours to school needing to take out loans. How were you able to efficiently pay off your debt? 

You’ve written many books and a series called Super CRNA, what made you write a children’s book?

How do you go from RN to CRNA to author to business owner? 

What are Independent Dreams inc and what made you start it?

Do you have plans for your next endeavor?

What are you currently working on?

Social Media for Crystal

YouTube: Crystal Grant

Instagram: thesixfigurecrna