Category Archives: medical news

Words to live by … literally!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Check out the image I attached to this blog post. It contains some powerful words of wisdom that the nimrods of this world need to heed. It showed up today on my Facebook feed, so I thought I would share it with you.

The pandemic that has killed something north of 350,000 Americans is still running amok. Donald J. Trump has ridiculed those who wear masks. He actually needled the man who beat him in the 2020 presidential election because he wears a mask when he ventured into the public.

The Trumpkin Corps of Kooks has bought into their man’s cavalier attitude toward the masks and even toward the danger the pandemic has posed.

I had an up-close look at one of them recently in a Princeton, Texas, supermarket. This woman went off on a store employee about how Gov. Greg Abbott was being dictatorial by requiring Texans to wear masks.

She should see the message I attached to this blog post. Hey, maybe she’s seen it on her own social media network.

I am one American who does not object to wearing a mask; nor do I object to maintaining distance between myself and the other guy waiting in line; nor do I mind washing my hands or cleaning surfaces with sanitary wipes.

If it keeps my family and me healthy and COVID free, I am all for it.

Pandemic is personal

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s absence of empathy and compassion is playing out in real time. He has tested positive for the coronavirus that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. So has his wife, his youngest son, his oldest son and an assortment of those who are reportedly “close” to him.

Yet he continues to act publicly as if the only thing that matters is that election he lost and his effort to overturn a democratically conducted electoral process.

For the rest of us? It’s personal. The virus is striking close to my home. It has sickened members of my family. It has felled friends of ours. It is hurting our hearts and is causing us enough grief and anxiety to last, oh, probably forever.

Yet the president of the United States keeps playing golf, enjoys the glitz and glamor of his posh resort/house in Florida. He is content to fire off Twitter messages and bitch and moan about an election he lost.

Oh, the pandemic? He doesn’t give a rat’s a** about its effects on other American families. I cannot speak to how he has dealt with its impact on his own family. Frankly, at this point in this pandemic crisis I … just … don’t … care.

But I certainly do care that the president who took an oath to defend us has abdicated his duty while acting as if he doesn’t give a  rip about the suffering that’s occurring in this vast and great  land.

Merry COVID Christmas, America

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This will be a Christmas for the ages.

Not necessarily because Santa Claus was especially generous or because we all are filled with holiday joy and gratitude … although many of us will express our thanks and will honor the religious significance of this time of year.

Oh, no. This will be a Christmas we’ll remember because of a disease that keeps lashing out at Americans.

It has felled neighbors of ours here in Collin County, Texas. Friends of ours all across the nation have taken ill. Then came the chilling news that members of our family have been stricken with the infection. They aren’t hospitalized but their Christmas cheer has been dampened by the fear that comes with knowing they are infected with a virus that has taken far too many lives and sickened far too many others.

I have reported to you already that we in the clear in our house. That doesn’t give us license to, um, party like there’s no tomorrow. My wife and I intend to see many tomorrows as we continue our journey together. To ensure that future we intend to play by the rules set for by the infectious disease gurus who tell us constantly what we need to to do to stay safe and healthy.

We are resigned to the notion that our beloved nation is in the throes of a pandemic that has changed millions of lives — and not for the better.

It’s a bit of a chore today to wish everyone a joyful and Merry Christmas. I’ll add the word “COVID” in front of Christmas with the hope that next year at this time we can cheer the fact that we are celebrating a COVID-free holiday.

Update on COVID test

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I took the liberty the other day of announcing to the planet that my wife and I had taken a test to see if we had become infected with the COVID-19 virus.

We learned this morning we both tested negative. The young woman who called with the results was practically giddy when she gave us the news. I don’t know if she feared for us or whether she had grown weary of delivering bad news to patients who came to the McKinney clinic for coronavirus testing.

Whatever. We ain’t infected. We certainly ain’t sick.

We also are not out of the proverbial woods, even with the vaccine that is being injected into the arms of thousands of Americans each day.

Mask up, keep your distance, wash your hands … and keep your voice down, America.

And now … a good word about Operation Warp Speed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Admittedly, this blog has spent a great deal of time, emotional energy and cyberspace over the past four years bashing, slashing and smashing at the Donald J. Trump administration.

Trump is about to exit the political stage in less than 30 days. I now want to say a good word about what — in a normal world — should stand as an enduring legacy to his term in office.

This isn’t a normal world. Operation Warp Speed is a creation of someone within the White House to define the mission of finding a vaccine for the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 Americans and nearly 2 million people around the world.

The COVID-19 virus arrived early this year. Trump dragged his feet in recognizing publicly the peril it posed. Then he owned up to its consequence. He also announced the strategy he said would expedite the research and development of a vaccine that could cure the world of the pandemic.

Trump predicted during his failed re-election campaign that we could have a vaccine by the end of the year. Skeptics scoffed. I don’t recall speaking directly to Trump’s boast, but it did ring a bit hollow. Others in the White House task force formed to come up with a response strategy said it would take longer.

Well, guess what. Donald Trump was right. Pfizer and Moderna have produced highly efficient vaccines that are now being administered around the world. A third pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca, is about to bring a vaccine on line.

There is plenty of debate about the impact that Operation Warp Speed had in delivering these vaccines. Some experts say the drug firms were well on the way to producing it already; others give Warp Speed a ton of credit for goosing the companies to delivering the goods in a timely fashion.

I am willing to dole out praise to Donald Trump for providing some of the impetus to get this vaccine developed and approved. But not all of it. Indeed, I am weary beyond belief of hearing Trump take undue credit for work that others did.

Drug company researchers and scientists worked their butts off to produce a vaccine with an efficacy level that experts have called “extraordinary.” Yet there was Trump the other day stepping into the limelight to say that no other politician in human history could have produced those kinds of results.

Mr. President, the program that came to be under your watch has done well. Accept the congratulations that belong mostly to the researchers … and then get the hell out of the way.

COVID test didn’t hurt a bit

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My name is John and I am a statistic.

So is my wife of more than 49 years. No, we’re not that statistic. We are now among the millions of Americans who have been tested for the coronavirus that is infecting millions of our countrymen and women and, tragically, killing far too many of them.

We ventured this morning to a clinic in nearby McKinney. We walked in without an appointment. We were advised it might take a while to see a medical pro. It turned out to be not quite as lengthy a wait as it could have been.

I need to stipulate that we’ll know the results of our tests in three days or so. The clinic staff will call us with the … news, which we both certainly hope is good news.

We decided to seek the test because we both have a case of the heebie-jeebies, given what we hear about the multitude of symptoms that others have experienced — before they tested positive for the virus.

Both of us have been mindful of the measures we need to take to stave off infection. We have practiced them carefully: masks, social distancing, hand-washing; you name it, we do it!

Next up for my bride and me? The vaccine, that’s what!

We hear that we well could be on the very next list of those who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re both of age. We don’t suffer pre-existing conditions that would push us to the head of that line, but we do qualify simply because our dates of birth say we do; and we can prove we qualify on the basis of age.

I am heartened to see high-profile Americans — VP Mike Pence and Karen Pence, President-elect Biden and Jill Biden, VP-elect Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff, Dr. Anthony Fauci to name just a few — make a show of getting inoculated against the virus. It’s not that I need their endorsement to obtain the vaccine. As soon as it’s available to us, we’re going to get the shot immediately if not sooner.

We’ve taken the next logical step, which is to get a test to see if our good behavior has paid dividends for us. I remain optimistic that neither of us will become that other statistic.

Impossible to dismiss good news in time of peril

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is virtually impossible for me to hold back the joy I feel as I watch news reports from around this great nation of individuals receiving shots in their arm.

We are subjected daily — even hourly — to reports of death and misery from the COVID-19 virus. It has killed more than 300,000 Americans. Many more will die. It has infected more than 17 million of us. Millions more infections are on their way, too.

And yet … we watch news reports, read about them in the newspaper (yes, we still read newspapers in our home) about millions of doses of vaccine being distributed. There is hope. There is a glimmer of optimism. However, the doctors in charge of this good news tell us to hold off on popping the champagne corks. We’re going to endure a lot more suffering before we can “turn the corner,” or recognize the “light at the end of the tunnel” as the end of this pandemic.

The good news is tempered by the heartache we are enduring. It also is tamped down a bit by the hideous non-response of the current president of the United States, who remains fixated on his re-election loss and the bogus claims of fraud, illegal voting, a “rigged election” … or whatever the hell pops into his vacuous skull.

Donald Trump is almost out of there.

In the meantime, I intend to watch the news with a mixed set of emotion. I want to relish the good news and I will do so in the moments I see those reports flash in front of me. Still, we all must be realistic about what we know also is occurring. For all the good news we watch as nurses, doctors, police, firefighters and essential government leaders get immunized against the killer, we must hold dear our feeling of empathy and compassion for the loss that continues to occur around the world.

These are trying times for the human spirit. The optimist that lives within me will grasp the good news as it arrives and pray for the moment that our joy will bury our sadness.

‘Hoax’ crowd tests my compassion

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Try as I do to maintain my sense of compassion and empathy for those who become stricken by a killer virus, there are those on the fringes of our political spectrum to test it to the extreme.

For example …

I have seen a congressman-elect declare that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax. He called it a “phony pandemic.” He was without a mask while bellowing the BS in front of a rally crowd. Rep.-elect Bob Good spoke to a pro-Donald Trump rally and declared the pandemic that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans and sickened millions of others isn’t real. It’s a phony sickness.

Just as egregious is that the crowd cheered this dipsh**’s rant.

Oh, my.

I have resisted the temptation to cheer when some folks become stricken by the virus. I won’t say here and now that I want Bob Good to become sick. I told readers of this blog that I wished Donald and Melania Trump a quick and full recovery when they tested positive for the virus; I wish the same for others within Trump’s inner circle.

However, when nimrods like Rep.-elect Good yammer the trash he did this weekend, they test my fairly deep reservoir of good will that enables me to wish political foes good health.

We have been listening for months on end the gut- and heart-wrenching stories of nurses and doctors who watch their patients die alone. Their grief is as visceral as it gets. Many of them are leaving the profession they love. Why? Because they no longer can cope with the heartbreak they suffer multiple times each day.

Then we hear from the likes of a congressman-elect who calls all this suffering a “phony” issue. I am left to deal initially with my rage at what they say. Then I must ask: How can anyone possibly take those who are elected to represent the public interest seriously when they utter such absolute nonsense?

Despicable.

This just in from Lysol …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I want to report to you that I have just received an email from Lysol, the disinfectant company, with a series of helpful hints on how to stay healthy during the holiday season.

The message mentions all the essentials: wash your hands, keep the air flowing, practice social distancing. You know the drill, correct?

There isn’t a single mention in the message about ingesting it, per that nonsense that Donald Trump muttered earlier this year during one of those idiotic “briefings” on fighting the pandemic.

Just wanted to share this bit of advice.

FDA issues the call

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Food and Drug Administration has issued the call many of us have been awaiting.

The FDA has granted Pfizer emergency authorization to begin distributing a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus that has killed more than 290,000 Americans.

Is this the end of the virus? Are we now able to hug each other as if nothing happened? Have we returned to normal life as we once knew it? No, no, no … and more.

However, the vaccine has arrived. It will be distributed in a complicated logistical operation. It will go first to those in dire need. Medical personnel, first responders, educators, elderly Americans with pre-existing conditions get it first.

The FDA will decide soon on a vaccine developed by Moderna. Then one developed by AstraZeneca should get the OK from the FDA.

I remain hopeful the end to our misery is coming. It might take a while, but it’s on its way.