Tag Archives: COVID vaccine

Ignore the know-nothings

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

While visiting with a family member this afternoon, chatting about this and that, I made a command decision about how I will treat the yammering that comes from the anti-vaxxers out there who say we should ignore pleas to inoculate ourselves against the COVID-19 pandemic.

I will ignore them.

When Fox News blowhard Tucker Carlson says we should forgo the vaccine, I will ignore him. When such nonsense spills from the pie holes of politicians wedded to the nonsense spouted by POTUS 45, I will ignore them, too.

FYI, my family member happens to be on my side in this argument.

Now, that said … if a learned physician with the skill and knowledge credentials of, say, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says we should refuse the vaccine, I’ll give it all due consideration. Then I’ll disregard what he or she says, too.

The blowhards are know-nothing gasbags. They make handsome livings by being able to articulate half-baked opinions in a witty, reasonably articulate manner. They have their followers. I am not one of them. Thus, I do not take their blathering seriously; hell, I usually choose to avoid listening to it in the first place.

I established long ago my own bias. We all have it. You do, too. I am going to accept the opinions of those I trust. Dr. Fauci — the nation’s premier infectious disease expert — says the vaccines are safe and effective. That, dear friends, is good enough for me.

As for those who refuse to get vaccinated, or refuse to inoculate their children against the killer virus and its variant(s), they are putting themselves in dire peril. Worse, they are endangering their children.

All of them — every single one of them — should be ashamed.

Vaccine reaction? It’s a non-starter

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have zero patience when I hear that my fellow Americans don’t want to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot because of some “reaction” they might suffer as a result.

Reaction? What reaction? Will you feel dreary and droopy? Achy? Might you spike a fever?

It’s only temporary, folks!

I realize I am just one individual, that my experience with vaccines doesn’t apply necessarily to anyone else, let alone to millions of other Americans.

The worst reaction I ever had to any sort of vaccine occurred in the fall of 1989. I was preparing to travel to Southeast Asia with other editorial writers and editors. I needed a flu shot before departing for the Far East.

Our family doctor who administered the vaccine at his Beaumont, Texas, clinic told me there would be side effects. They were? Oh, he said I would feel like I had the flu.

No sweat, doc. Gimme the shot! He did.

The next day or two I got hit hard. My temperature spiked. I got achy all over. I became sick to my stomach. Then after three days or so, it ended. I was shipshape, ready to travel.

I understand there are safety concerns about the vaccines out there. I also hear the doctors tell us that they’re safe. They are dependable. Their efficacy is excellent.

The president of the United States is imploring us to get vaccinated. Listen to the man!

Did he say that? Really?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Complete candor requires us to realize that we didn’t think a U.S. senator was a certifiable nut job when he took office.

Still, Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has provided ample evidence that he might need to be committed.

Johnson has been a COVID denier since the pandemic broke out. Now he says that there is “no reason” for Americans to get vaccinated if their neighbors have the vaccine. He is actually seeking to dissuade us from getting vaccinated against a virus has has killed just a bit south of 600,000 Americans.

Yes, the death rate is declining. The infection rate in many states, though, is spiking. Vaccines are rolling out. Three drug companies have produced enough vaccine to inoculate tens of millions of Americans.

Ron Johnson wonders, “Why the push for vaccine?”

Republican Ron Johnson tries to explain why there is “no reason to be pushing vaccines on people” (msn.com)

I think I can explain. We want the vaccine injected into as many Americans as possible so we can protect ourselves –and them — from the virus. Holy cow, man! It ain’t complicated!

As the Business Insider reports: Last month, the congressman claimed that he doesn’t plan on getting vaccinated because he already contracted the disease, which he argued “probably provides me the best immunity possible.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, with regards to natural immunity, “experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.”

This is the same guy who said the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill took place even though most of the rioters are law-abiding citizens who have a deep respect for law enforcement. Uh, senator? I saw the video of that riot. There wasn’t a lot of abiding by the law taking place. He also believes the Big Lie about phony voter fraud.

Now he is popping off about vaccines.

Hmm. Shut up, Sen. Johnson.

I love being a statistic

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

OK, I am just a number, but I welcome it.

I happen to be one of the 15 million or so Americans who’s been completely vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic. My bride will join me in that category of Americans in just one week.

What I want to report is that today’s second dose of the vaccine was done with a fraction of the anxiety of the first one. How is that? No lines, man!

We drove again from Princeton, Texas south along U.S. Highway 75, through Dallas and ended up once again at the North Texas VA Medical Center. We parked our truck and walked in.

I peered down the hall, looking for a line of veterans waiting to get vaccinated. There were none there! Huh? The nasty weather might have kept some folks from making the trip to the VA center. A VA staffer told me the morning crowd was much larger. Whatever. I guess I am the master of impeccable timing.

I checked in and then was ushered immediately into the large room with 20-something booths where vets were receiving their vaccines.

The nurse peppered with a few questions about my health at the moment. I answered them correctly, I got the shot in the arm, walked into a waiting room for the obligatory 15-minute post-vaccine observation period and then walked out. My wife and piled into our truck and returned home.

In and out in, oh, 22 minutes!

Wow! I will sing the praises once more for the service I receive from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA came through for me when I needed it. I expect the same kind of treatment for my bride when she reports for her second vaccine provided by Collin County’s Health Department.

Plano … you had a problem

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

We were alarmed Thursday night when we heard the news about a COVID vaccine site that had run into some, um, difficulty.

My wife was scheduled to report at that very site at John Clark Stadium in Plano, Texas, the next day to receive the first of two COVID vaccine doses. We held our breath this morning as we set out for her rendezvous with immunity from the killer pandemic virus.

We arrived 25 minutes after leaving our house in Princeton.

Then something quite cool happened. We drove Big Jake, our 3/4-ton pickup, into line. We inched forward. We met with a young attendant who took down some information from my bride.

We then drove to another line. We waited a few more minutes. Then we met a second COVID vaccine staffer, who took some more info from her.

Then came the final stop. My wife chatted for a moment with the third attendant, answered a few medical questions.

Then she got the shot. Ba-da-boom … she was done.

I checked the clock. Finished in less than an hour.

News reports the previous evening told us about overbooking at that site because of no-shows and cancellations. We heard about agonizing waits in line, with residents told there were no vaccine doses left; they were turned away.

We didn’t have any particular expectation of similar problems today, only a nagging fear that they might present themselves to my wife.

They did not. What’s more, and this is a rather amazing thing to report, the staff working on the parking lot at Clark Stadium could not have been more courteous, friendly and professional. The personal demeanor actually made the experience almost enjoyable.

She got the Pfizer vaccine, which means she returns in three weeks for the second dose. Now that we know what to expect, there will be far less dread waiting for the end of this vaccine protocol.

I just want to offer a word of thanks and appreciation to some folks who are under a lot of pressure to serve an anxious community.

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.

Hire the best … and listen to them!

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What do you know about this?

It appears President-elect Joe Biden might be inheriting an actual positive result that has its roots during the Donald Trump administration. That would be the seemingly pending discovery of a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly a quarter million Americans.

Two big pharma outfits — Pfizer and Moderna — have declared initial success with vaccines they are running through clinical trials. They boast of success rates of more than 90 percent. Finally there might be some good news to report after months and months of misery.

What is the president-elect’s task now? It is to adhere to the advice given him by the medical team he is assembling to combat this killer virus. Biden doesn’t want a nationwide lockdown. However, he must not be swayed by the political consequence of such an event.

Dr. Scott Atlas currently serves as Trump’s go-to guy on the pandemic. Atlas, though, is not an infectious disease expert. Indeed, he hasn’t practiced medicine for a decade. He is a hack, a political donor who landed a job that should have gone to someone with actual experience and knowledge of infectious diseases.

Atlas also had the terrible judgment to say that Americans should “rise up” against government mandates designed to save their lives. What the hell? He said he wasn’t advocating violence … but it looks like he was doing precisely that to me.

Please, Mr. President-elect, avoid that kind of appointment. Whatever you do, make good on your pledge to “follow the science.” Biden must surround himself with experts and then he must actually heed what they tell him.

The signs are filled with promise the new administration is going to march down a different path than the one used by the government it will replace.

That, folks, is a very good thing.