COVID vaccine helps us get back to normal

January 5, 2021
Benjamin P. Casella, OD, FAAO

We all share a common goal.

We have all had it happen. A patient just doesn’t want to hear that he needs to take a medication or modify an aspect of lifestyle such as smoking or exercise in order to preserve or improve upon good health. As a doctor, I have seen this many times. As a patient, I have been guilty of this before. Simply put, a doctor cannot provide care for a patient that supersedes how much that patient cares for himself.

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COVID vaccine

As I write this, the powers that be are deciding who will be included among the first phase of persons in the U.S. to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. It is heavily rumored that healthcare workers will be first, followed by those at risk for contracting the SARS-Cov-2 virus and having significant complications.

Over the past several weeks, I have had conversations with people who have, let’s say, varying points of view regarding getting the vaccine. A man who works down the street from my practice said (tongue in cheek) that the government should give the pharma companies crop dusters and warn those who don’t want the vaccine to stay inside for a few minutes. On the other side of the equation, I had a conversation with a patient who told me that she would never allow anything Bill Gates had his hands on anywhere close to her body. I am pretty sure Bill Gates did not invent a vaccine, and I am 100 percent positive that the vaccines won’t contain nanorobots which will eventually control my mind. That I feel good about.

Perhaps the most meaningful conversation I have had regarding the vaccines has been with an infectious disease doctor. He has been in the field long enough to know the last several pandemics and went to Africa to help treat Ebola. His take on things was that the SARS-CoV-1 virus (which caused severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS]) is not dissimilar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So, there may be a chance that it will go away like SARS essentially did. I expressed great enthusiasm when he told me that, and he was quick to point out the fact that he would, indeed, be getting the vaccine both for his own personal health and the health of those around him as well as to aid in society getting back to some sense of normalcy.

I will, of course, be getting the vaccine. Emergency approval by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is good enough for me. I look forward to a day in which there is a greater degree of normalcy and a lesser amount of conspiracy theories. I also recognize that a mask and social distancing will be in my future for some time after I receive the vaccine, and I am OK with it. No matter your take on things, we all share the same common goal.

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