December 9, 2020
New York Times
New Orleans Recently, I sat for my annual physical. I’m not sure, but I’ve probably seen my doctor annually now for the last twenty years. Eventually, you work out a pattern to these things. After all this time, she knows to call me by my middle name In times of healthcare panic, I sent my mother and brother to her. This year my son became the latest of my tribe to begin the annual physical routine with her. Mainly, she handles me with a light touch, though she’s got some bite to her. She bullied me into an ultrasound a couple years ago after I had rolled down part of a mountain in Montana, and sure enough I had cracked a couple of ribs, and she was right, and I was wrong, which is important in a doctor, since all of us are health industry-sceptic. I finally got a flu shot this year, and am still debating another one she demands.
This year we spent a couple of minutes after the work was done talking about these strange 2020 times. Looking for a silver lining, she noted that the coronavirus has sent the anti-vaxxers into retreat. Speaking like a true-blue-100%-doctor, she said something like, “how could anyone not take a vaccine that might cure them of something horrible?” Basically, the heart of her case was that the risk of a tested and approved vaccine was miniscule compared to the risk and dire consequences of enduring the malady cold turkey without any protection.
She’s got a point. The rush to create a Covid-19 vaccine has been medically and scientifically amazing in its speed. The first shots of a Pfizer-developed vaccine were just administered in a care facility in Britain. China and Russia are using ones that they have developed. Others are coming from Moderna and additional companies. Public health experts are insisting that full testing and compliance be followed, much to Trump’s chagrin, in order to deal with the millions of Americans who are not anti-vaxxers, but are metaphorical residents of a non-territorial “show-me” state. The wizards are also clear that until 70% of the population is vaccinated, it’s mandatory masks and much month by month mayhem.
Luckily, more attention is being paid now to the order of march as the line forms to get doses as they become available with most of us likely needing to make it safe and sound until the spring. There will be anti-vaxxers certainly. There always are, but they need to be in the tiny minority. Reports that vaccinations have fallen off by 26% for measles and 16% for polio this year are disturbing, because we could end up with some revived epidemics, including for children, while we’re trying to deal with this class-A, world stopping epidemic.
It’s hard for many of us who listen to a different drumbeat to get in line easily, but this time it matters. Vaxxers of the world unite, we have little to lose, and everything to gain!