THE DOCTOR IS IN--For months now, I've inquired and urged my grocery store clerks and managers to push for their vaccinations.
Ditto for nurses, friends and family, teachers, etc. now that the restrictions are opening for these folks, and for those less than 65 with underlying medical conditions.
And many of them still don't want to get vaccinated...or at least they're REALLY hesitant. So, let's make something clear:
THIS physician will NEVER begrudge or belittle any hesitancy to any of you, or anyone you know, for getting vaccinated...but please reconsider. The press is filled with horror stories of allergic reactions, side effects, etc., so why would ANYONE not wonder if they'll tolerate vaccination?
NO ONE wants to be the exception to the rule, and be the one with a horrible side effect to any vaccination...but NO ONE wants to be the exception to the rule, and be the one who's severely disabled or even die from COVID-19, right?
To the liberals who are happy to be masking and social distancing forever, will that help your lives? Don't you want to get past the pandemic of 2020? (And I assure you that there are conservatives in this camp, too)
To the conservatives who think that the vaccine push is too Fauci-fied and too Biden-fied, will ignoring those who've died (both conservatives and liberals alike) help your lives? Don't you want to get on with your lives and fight the good fight? (And I assure you that there are liberals in this camp, too).
Both President Trump and President Biden are emphatically encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and if they can both agree on something, doesn't that mean something?
It's interesting how most of my patients and friends/family over 65 want to, and/or are happy to, get vaccinated...but then again they're closer in mindset to "the Greatest Generation", and "get" the concept of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
On to my weekly update:
1) I am NOT a big fan of jumping for joy about the masks and social distancing as a shared patriotic, wonderful thing to be virtue-signaling about. And much of all those policies have been based on incomplete if not lousy efforts to "follow the science". Denying Americans of their civil rights without making ANY dent in COVID-19 impacts is NOT science.
Now we know that the 6-foot spacing requirements has been replaced with a 3-foot spacing rule, as reported by the L.A. Times. So kids can go back to school without the inability to talk to their classmates and friends.
So despite the increasing awareness of long-lasting symptoms months after getting COVID-19, as reported by Health Day, we need not get too worked up as we move forward with the virus amongst us. Wash your hands, be smart, and don't give in the "sky is falling" crowd.
2) NEWS YOU CAN USE, HERE! Daily low-dose aspirin and Vitamin D are the keys to survival, and not the Plaquenil and Ivermectin we had hoped for as the magic bullets to save us until we get vaccinated.
For those who want to live their lives and have NOT yet been vaccinated, daily low-dose aspirin (the 81 mg/day tablets you can buy in any drug store or supermarket) is being shown to both limit the inflammation and vascular clotting/damage associated with severe COVID-19 cases.
This was discovered by Israeli scientists, and it bears repeating that Israel appears to be one the best nations on Planet Earth to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
(On a related note, President Biden, can you stop being so tough on Israel and its new Arab allies, and embrace Trump's Abraham Accords while Iran and the Palestinians continue to choose against Mideast Peace? Must you embrace those who want conflict while demeaning and belittling those who want peace, just because the peace effort started under the Orange Man's presidency?)
3) Those of you reading this, and who spend most of your time indoors, are probably LOW in Vitamin D3, and should be taking 1-2000 IU/day of Vitamin D3 as we avoid skin cancer and wrinkles. Just go to your nearest drug store or supermarket and purchase this cheap life-supporting agent.
But for black or any other darker-skinned individuals, your darker skin is much more likely to repel the sunlight needed to convert pre-Vitamin D3 to Vitamin D3, and if black individuals are dying more from COVID-19, then this Vitamin D3 intake is especially critical to saving your life as reported by MDLinx.
Darker individuals of all ethnicities are especially in need of oral Vitamin D3 for a host of bone and immune-health related conditions and have been so for decades. As with a higher likelihood of elevated blood pressure, let's please just keep your life expectancy UP.
4) There's a limit to what vaccination can do with respect to COVID-19, but let's not get paranoid...vaccination (and the more of us who get vaccinated) is likely to make us COVID-19 free in the United States as much as see in Israel, where virtually the entire nation is vaccinated.
Neutralizing antibodies against the newer, more dangerous and contagious COVID-19 variants are less observed in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but so what if they help more than no vaccination...and so what if we will need booster shots like our annual flu shots?
5) Transmission of the virus will continue, but almost certainly will be dramatic, and less symptomatic if not asymptomatic, according to MDLinx, to those who are vaccinated. So, the virus will be around, but NOT a big problem.
6) I want us to throw away the masks someday, don't you? The viral vaccines are NOT unproven and are based on new technologies that have been a major step forward in Planet Earth's knowledge of dealing with viruses and vaccination.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are custom-made portions of the mRNA of the COVID-19 spike proteins, and NOT the virus itself...so you won't get the virus through vaccination. Blood nucleases eat up the mRNA and prevent it from entering our cells, so our own DNA will NOT be messed with.
The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines use harmless chimpanzee viruses to transmit a piece of the COVID-19 genetic code to our blood, and those viruses are species-specific...and therefore CANNOT infect human cells.
The canard/urban legend that the vaccines out there are not FDA-approved, and are unproven/experimental only, is just NOT true!
7) The science and numbers of states such as Texas and Florida, interesting enough, suggest that mask-free and mask-intense states may have the same results with respect to the morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19.
So let's follow the science for real...Texas and Florida are using the statistics to NOT kill off nursing home patients, and ditto for getting rid of mask requirements when and where it's been shown to not make a difference. California and other states are opening (and perhaps Governor Newsom, who SHOULD be recalled, is trying to cover his butt), but with good reason:
They're following the science.
7) As I've stated before in these updates, let's just be kind and convincing--and not treat with disdain--those who remain hesitant to vaccination as more time, and more numbers, suggest that those vaccinated will enjoy more rights than those who don't.
And enough of the paranoia. Step up and stop the lockdown-forever, and the anti-vaxxer, ways of life. There's plenty of reasons to end our masking, ignore Fauci and Biden and Trump politics, and focus on our families, our schools/education, and plan future vacations.
We all deserve to live happy, including each and every one of you reading this now.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)