February 27 Good Science News #7. Vaccination.
Updated: Jul 12, 2021
In North Idaho where I live, the end of February is the very beginning of Spring. It still snows, sometimes a lot, but by 9 am, the sun is shining brightly and the water-laden snow begins to drop off of the eaves of houses and the railing on porches and stairs. It is still cold, and it can be miserable at times, but the little pond by our house is alive with bird song and the day lengths are increasing by more than 3 minutes per day. Spring is around the corner.
And so it is with Covid-19 vaccinations. There was an article this last week in the Washington Post on the joy of vaccination. Yes, you read that right, the joy of vaccination. For most of 2020, health care professionals were forced to play defense against the Corona virus, running diagnostic tests, urging safe distancing and campaigning for the wearing of masks. But with the advent of vaccinations, they have taken to the offensive, and are administering vaccinations as fast as they become available. Older folks are getting vaccinated and planning on seeing their grand kids again, and the loneliness and isolation of stay-in-place, particularly with the aged, is lifting as more and more people are vaccinated. But it’s not just the patients that are joyful. In fact, the Post quotes health care professionals as saying, “There are so many tears – of joy, not sadness” and “I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience in my career that has felt so promising,” and “you can see their smiles through their masks.” In some communities, the number of health care professionals volunteering to administer vaccines has outpaced the capacity to do so. It seems that the health care professionals are getting a different type of a "shot-in-the-arm" that they really desperately needed. No one likes to run a race in which there is no finish line in sight, yet for many health care professionals that is just what 2020 must have looked like. But now, the same individuals that were so starved for any sort of a win, are experiencing little wins, the vaccination of grateful individuals, scores of times per day. That must really feel good. Winter in Idaho is not over, it will snow again, and there will be a few more cold temperatures and grey skies before things change. But the spring thaw is on its way. Likewise, the battle with Covid-19 is not over. We still need to wear masks (maybe double masks!) and practice safe distancing. The battle, however has turned, a new day has arrived, and vaccinations are putting a lot of people in a long-awaited good mood.