It has been a year since I first heard stories about the new virus coming to get us all. The panic spread quickly, people gripped by fear. Fear, I now know, is a powerful tool. It is easy to scare people, but very difficult to unscare them.
No good news
The few voices that came forward with messages of reason and hope were quickly squashed. For example, there appeared to be a glimmer of good news because hydroxychloroquine was thought to be a good medication to help treat Covid if it is given early enough. That idea was quickly blocked without taking the time to look into it any further. There is still debate among providers about this. Any ray of hope from our then-president was called a lie. Any doctors who brought forth anything that went against the fear pushing objective were quickly discredited.
Another piece of good news should be how Covid killed the seasonal flu, right? In the image below, taken directly from the CDC website, you can see all of the colored lines that represent past flu seasons compared to this flu season, with the red triangles. Interesting we are not hearing more about this, and how or if it relates to the rise in Covid.
To those of you attributing this data to the fact people are doing an amazing job of wearing their masks and social distancing, spare me. I have already seen this argument. These are the same people who are screaming to the world that every time a person tests positive for Covid, it’s because “Nobody knows how to mask, socially distance or follow rules!” You can’t have it both ways.
Covid deaths are not always from Covid
There are states which count a death as a Covid death if they had a positive test, no matter how they died. I understand the impact comorbidities have on illnesses. However, there are cases in which the person died of a clear, alternative cause, and the person was counted as a Covid death.
“If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means technically even if you died of a clear alternate cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of the death.” Dr. Ezike outlined.https://hoiabc.com/2020/04/20/idph-director-explains-how-covid-deaths-are-classified/
I point this out because I want people to understand that we need time and answers. Time to know the actual survival rates. Which appear to be very high. (More good news not being touted.) And time to know how safe and effective a new vaccine is. Knowing these pieces of information will help people to make an educated decision on taking the shot or declining.
They are safe and effective… Trust us…
Yesterday, I read an article discussing how the new Covid vaccines are as safe as they thought they would be. This article discussed how, “everyone who experienced an allergic response has been treated successfully.” And, “no other serious problems have turned up among the first 22 million people vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
I work away from direct patient care now, and have for 2 years. I have a small team, and they are offering the vaccine to us. A few of my colleagues have excitedly and dutifully opted to take it. This week, 2 members of my team received the second dose. At our meeting a few days ago, one person said she was behind this week because a few days after she received the second dose, her arm, axilla and shoulder were very swollen and red. She couldn’t even apply deodorant for 3 days. She spiked a 103 degree fever that lasted over 24 hours, and her headache made her feel like she was going to throw up if she sneezed, coughed or bent over. Once she was finished talking, the other person quietly said she had the same types of things happen. They both hesitantly agreed, “but, it’s worth it.”
…Is it though? Who determines that? I do. No one else determines risk versus reward for me or my family except us. It is the same with any other medical treatment. I recently had my gallbladder removed. Among the risks of surgery are death. When they ask for my informed consent, they explained the statistics of each possible complication, and I had to decide for myself if I was willing to take that risk. That is as it should be for any medical procedure or treatment. And, until recently, was the standard to which we in the medical field were all trained.
If you continue through the article, you will see,
“Vaccinated people have suffered major health crises and even death within a few days of receiving a shot, but the rate of those events is no higher than would be expected in the general population and cannot be connected to the vaccine, the review found.”USA Today
Whenever anyone else has suggested to look at Covid related deaths in such a manner, they are called anti-science, and any number of other derogatory terms. If we measured vaccine related deaths in the same ‘scientific’ way we measured Covid related deaths, why wouldn’t we, for example, call all deaths in the 30 days after a Covid shot – a Covid shot death?
Double standards. The narrative. Fear peddling. That’s why.
These are only the ones made public at this moment. Nothing to see here. Everything is just fine.
I realize I probably sound like an anti-vaxxer. That’s far from truth. I and my family are all vaccinated for the typical childhood things. I also take the flu shot every year after having the flu so badly one year, I thought I would literally die. I am also very much in favor of medical choice and informed consent. Over the years, I have educated many people on vaccines, but always respected their decision to go whichever way they felt was right. I have never in my career witnessed so much guilt, shaming and peer pressure to have a medical treatment as I have seen with this experimental shot.
We are reassured things are safe and effective. But, we are barely coming upon a year of Covid vaccines, and a small trial phase. Clearly my definitions of ‘safe’ and ‘effective’ differ from other’s definitions. As do my definitions of ‘hate,’ ‘love,’ ‘truth,’ and many other vocabulary words. But that’s for another time.
mRNA vaccines are not a new idea
Did you know that the technology for the new mRNA vaccines has been around for decades? I didn’t either. “mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus (CMV).” Yet, despite the length of their existence, and the purported ease of creating new vaccines, one still has not been approved by the FDA. Why is that?
The answer is we don’t know. There are so many things we don’t know. I pray this vaccine is the next good thing in medical technology. I really do. But, until we answer more questions, the answer will remain a “No thanks” for myself and my family. This experimental shot should remain a choice, and not a mandatory medical procedure.