Tag Archives: vaccines

Vaccination rates need to ramp up!

The stories we keep hearing — all of them verified by medical records — of unvaccinated Americans dying of COVID complications are beginning to drive me utterly insane.

Additionally, we keep hearing from local public health officials from coast to coast to coast that the vast majority of COVID-related hospitalizations involve those who haven’t been vaccinated against the killer virus.

What part of “common denominator” do the numbskulls among us not understand?

The unvaccinated Americans who for whatever reason — many of them idiotic — are not getting protection against the virus simply stun me into silence. I have nothing to say to them or about them.

I heard a story that was reported today about a young man, 24 years of age, who died of COVID complications. The network had recorded him saying he had resisted taking the vaccine because he bought into the idiocy that the pandemic was made up, that it was a “conspiracy” concocted for reasons no one can comprehend.

Then he got sick. He told the TV interviewer he wished he had taken the vaccine earlier. He was convinced it would save his life.

The young man died over the weekend. He leaves a wife and a young son.

Thus, I am left with this conflict of emotions: Do I feel sad that a young man died? Or do I just blow it off, just as he did when he refused to get inoculated?

Pfizer is getting closer to having its booster dose approved by the feds. When that moment arrives, my wife and I will be among the first to get in line and receive it. We got our second shots in February. We have been fortunate so far. We mask up. We practice “social distancing” when it’s possible. We don’t go anywhere out to eat. We stay home as much as we can.

I am fighting hard to keep my sanity, though, while we hear these stories similar to the one I just described. That might be more difficult than the struggle to remain clear of the COVID virus.


Docs are invaluable

These social media messages can be so instructive. This one caught me eye and I want to share it.

The nimrods who bitch about the doctors, scientists, researchers and drug company executives are all too willing to throw themselves at their feet when they get sick.

The COVID-19 virus continues to ravage us. It is infecting us at an alarming rate … still! Yet we hear from the red-state rubes that they don’t trust the vaccines being offered; they mistrust the advice of learned medical and scientific professionals, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the world’s pre-eminent infectious disease expert; they rely on livestock medication that the docs say is bad for you.

Then they get sick. They are hospitalized. Then they depend on the very same docs who warned them to get vaccinated, to mask up, to practice social distancing; they want those folks to make ’em better.

Hypocrisy? You bet!


‘My body, my choice’

Think about yet another example of right-wing hypocrisy for just a moment.

The conservative political movement has dismissed for decades progressives’ mantra that “my body, my choice” defined their opposition to government mandates banning abortion. They insisted that government had every right to “protect the rights of the unborn.”

Oh, but wait! Now we hear conservatives saying “my body, my choice” as they resist efforts to allow governmental mandates to get vaccinated against a disease that could kill them deader than dead. Government, in this instance, is seeking to protect the lives and the health of those who walk among us.

So, which is it, right-wingers?

Hypocrisy is just so damn ugly. Don’t you think?


Vaccine deniers are falling

Marc Bernier, 65, died over the weekend of COVID-19 complications.

Who was this fellow? He was a conservative Daytona, Fla., radio talker who, um, denied vehemently the effectiveness of the vaccines that are saving millions of Americans’ lives from the killer virus. He refused to be vaccinated.

He is reportedly the third such conservative blowhard to die from the disease.

3rd conservative radio host who condemned vaccines dies of CovidPOLITICOSearchSearchClose

I won’t pile on. I wish his family well as they grapple with the grief of losing a loved one.

There is a profound life lesson to be learned from this fellow’s death. It is that vaccines that have been certified as safe and effective by federal public health officials are worth taking. They will save your life. They also will protect your loved ones and others close to you from exposure to deadly disease.

I have to ask: Do you think Marc Bernier would be alive today had he exercised common sense and stayed away from the right-wing “fake news” propaganda?


Paying folks to protect themselves? Really?

It has come down to this? Holy cow, man!

Texas’s most populous county has been paying residents $100 if they line up to get a shot to protect themselves — and their loved ones — against the COVID-19 virus. Yep, that’s how it’s going down yonder in Harris County.

Never would I have imagined a worldwide health pandemic would devolve into a payment plan to entice those who were reluctant to get vaccinated against a disease that could kill them.

Here is what the Texas Tribune is reporting:

COVID-19 vaccines increase in Harris County following cash incentive | The Texas Tribune

Wow. You know, this is a consequence of the politicization of a vaccination campaign that never — not ever! — should have devolved into this partisan political game of gotcha!

It’s good, I reckon, that Harris County has enough money to throw around at those willing to receive a life-saving vaccine. I’ll give County Judge Hidalgo credit for taking the lead on this effort.

What’s more, it has produced results, as the Tribune reported, with vaccinations skyrocketing.

It’s just part of what I hope is a trend we will see accelerate as more people realize that the vaccines are effective and, of course, safe. The Food and Drug Administration this week approved the Pfizer vaccine, giving its unqualified go-ahead to anyone who had been  reluctant to get the shot to proceed to their nearest pharmacy or doctor’s office to be inoculated.

President Biden went on TV to declare that era of excuses is over. “Get vaccinated today,” he implored us. Hey, you’re preaching to choir in our house, Mr. President; my bride and I got our shots in February … both of ’em!

Still, I am astounded that some officials are doling out money to lure reluctant folks to do what is right — and what is sane!


Un-vaxxed: Stay away from me

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The disgraceful politicization of the COVID-19 vaccine effort continues apace.

It’s a sad state of affairs into which we have entered. Politics is now driving a good portion of Americans’ decision whether to receive the vaccines that are available to ward off potentially fatal infections from COVID-19.

I want to share a view expressed by someone on my Facebook “friends” network. This individual wrote:

“I don’t know your medical history and it’s none of my business. Get the vaccine or don’t get the vaccine. That’s your choice. My choice is this. You won’t be welcome at my house if you are not vaccinated. I wish peace and good health to anyone to happens to read this post.”

So … there you have it. I hereby am going to adopt that philosophy.

The good news is that we don’t chum around with those who are fervently anti-vaccination. Our friends and immediate family members all are pro-vaccine. To my knowledge they all have received both doses of whatever vaccine they received, be it Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

The maddening aspect of all of this has been the anger, angst and stubbornness of those who continue to buy into goofy notions about phony “side effects” of the vaccines. You’ve heard ’em , right? You take the vaccine and you become a chimpanzee; or your skin takes on some sort of adhesive quality; or that you become a eunuch.

Let’s see … more than 160 million Americans have been vaccinated and no one has come forth with any evidence that they have become a chimp.

So the specious argument continues. Why? Because you can’t talk sensibly to those who adhere to nonsense.

The anti-vaxxers bitch about losing their “freedom.” Hey, they are free to do — or refuse to do — whatever they damn well please.

Just stay the hell away from me and my family. Are we clear?

Fauci is not our ‘enemy’

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

One American’s “enemy” is another American’s hero.

With that said, I want to share a brief item that showed up today on my social media news feed. It comes from U.S. Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat who is running for a seat in the Senate occupied by Marco Rubio.

Demings said: Marjorie Taylor Greene called Dr. Fauci an “enemy to our nation” and members of the GOP like Marco Rubio have called for Dr. Fauci to be fired – so I’ve created a petition to stand up for Dr. Fauci and other scientists … 

Who is Marjorie Taylor Greene? She is the Georgia congresswoman who spouts stupid and insanely frightening rhetoric endorsed by the QAnon crowd about the pandemic, the vaccines developed to rid us of the virus and assorted other nonsense.

Greene, a Republican (of course!) is the true “enemy to our nation.” Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the go-to guy on the pandemic and how we need to ensure we do not become infected.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is entitled to spout her trash. I am entitled — indeed, obligated, in my view — to ignore it. Oh, and I also am entitled to speak out against such hideous idiocy.

Military to order vaccines

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Imagine you’re serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Your commanding officer or the non-commissioned officer in charge of your unit notices your boots aren’t shined properly. He or she orders you to shine ’em up, make ’em look pretty, shine them so you can see your face reflected back at you.

You do what you’re told, right? It’s a lawful order … which is why they call them “orders.” You are required to follow all lawful orders.

So it is that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has declared that every member of the U.S. armed forces — all 1.4 million men and women — will be required to be vaccinated against the COVD-19 virus and the assorted variants that are making Americans sick. That, too, is a lawful order.

I applaud the defense secretary — a retired four-star Army general — for issuing this order. He knows of which he speaks.

Is this going to mean that every soldier, sailor, Marine, Coast Guardsman, airman or space guardian will follow those orders without challenging them? Oh, probably not. We do live in a weird world that politicizes everything.

If they refuse, then their senior officers and NCOs need to take matters into their own hands and force them to be vaccinated.

Then they should toss the proverbial book at them.

We can turn the tide again

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I remain confident, despite the trend of recent weeks, that we can turn the tide once again and defeat the killer virus.

My confidence stems from the rhetoric coming from politicians on both sides of the great divide. Republicans have joined their Democratic colleagues in finally — finally! — urging Americans to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

What has been the impact? Well, we keep hearing in recent days that the vaccination rate is accelerating across the nation. Even in those so-called “red states” that have low rate of vaccinations already, states populated by Americans who swilled the Kool-Aid about the vaccine being unreliable and buying into the nutty notions of side effects that do not exist.

President Biden set a Fourth of July goal of having 70% of Americans vaccinated against the virus. We missed the mark. But not by much! We now have reached another benchmark, with 70% of us having received one of two required shots and with 50% of Americans fully vaccinated.

Still, the war against disinformation continues apace. This is where my confidence faces its strongest headwind.

The liars continue to outshout the rest of us. The liars are those who keep insisting that the vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson pose dire threats to our well-being. Again … they bring no proof of any of it. They simply spout and spew the garbage and others believe them.

Most of the members of my immediate and extended family are vaccinated. For that I am grateful. I also am grateful that those who have received the medication have resisted the trashy propaganda that comes from the MAGA crowd among others. To the members of my extended family who continue to buy into the garbage, my hope is that they eventually pull their heads out and realize the danger they pose not just to themselves, but to others as well … namely their children.

It will be a long slog through the thicket before we’re clear of this virus. My eternal optimism, although tested to the limit, remains strong that we’ll get through it … together!

Gov. Hutchinson makes sense

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has given me a glimmer of hope that all is not lost on the Republican Party.

The GOP governor today talked about how he is allowing local communities to decide whether to require mask-wearing in light of the Delta variant surge that is plaguing his state.

Uhh, listen up, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Pay attention! Will you follow your fellow GOPer’s lead? Oh, probably not.

Hutchinson is walking back his earlier pledge to open his state up all the way. This morning, speaking in a TV interview, Hutchinson sounded reasonable, rational and resourceful as he sought to explain how he and his constituents are dealing with the ravages of the COVID-19 spike in infection, hospitalization and death.

The pattern is clear: the spike in Delta variant cases is most prevalent in low-vaccinated states. That includes Arkansas. And, oh yeah, Texas, too!

But … we have a bit more good news. The vaccination rate is ticking up in recent days. More Americans are realizing the folly of refusing the safe and effective vaccines. Many of them are making solemn vows from hospital beds to ensure their family members and other loved ones get vaccinated to avoid the misery that the pandemic has inflicted on them.

I just intend now to salute Gov. Hutchinson for speaking the truth to those who need to hear it.

Get vaccinated!