Covid Update 1/12/21
Good evening all,
We continue to have some good news in Michigan as all of our important metrics are improving, including cases, hospitalizations, and percent positive tests. This is in contrast to the disaster unfolding in California and Arizona. With the rollout of the vaccine, we have good reason to be optimistic, but only cautiously, as the rollout has been a chaotic mess.
The federal government gave vital support to covid vaccine development. Probably the greatest contribution was promising to buy vaccines before they were approved, which allowed the manufacturers to have large batches ready to go as soon as they were authorized. Unfortunately, the feds drew the line there and decided they were done.
Mass vaccination programs have been done many times before, and there are experts who know how to do these things. One of the most important things to do is inform and educate the population. You can’t expect all Americans to simply trust the process and show up with sleeves rolled up. You have to engage community leaders at all levels to educate all Americans across multiple media platforms.
And there has to be a plan. The federal government has to collaborate with state and local officials who in turn have to work with communities, schools, religious organizations, etc to develop vaccination centers and ways to get people there at the right time.
None of this was done.
Instead, the feds are distributing the shots to the states by population and tossing a little money in to help out. State and local officials are scrambling to figure out what to do next.
Here in SE Michigan, we are seeing hospitals step in to fill in gaps (Beaumont, Henry Ford, and St. Joe’s Pontiac are among the hospitals reaching out to the public). Beaumont for example is reaching out to their patients with “mychart” who are over 65. Drug store chains are apparently helping take care of nursing home residents. But no one seems to know who is doing what. And because we never educated the public, many front line workers have been declining their vaccines, putting everyone at risk.
As you know, I don’t normally get political here, but my views are pretty clear. The current government has made a deadly mess of this from the outset. Some of these errors were inevitable, but most were “own goals”. There will shortly be a change in the government leadership, and the pandemic team being brought in is top notch, but I’ll reserve judgement. Results are what counts, not pretty words. Among Biden’s policy decisions that I disagree with is his plan to distribute first doses more widely and just trust that second doses will be manufactured in time. This may have been rendered moot, however, as the President just announced a similar effort today, which is equally misguided.
If you’re older or have any significant health problems, find the shot. Get it done. Call Costco, Meijer, Walgreens, CVS. Get online with the county. Call the nearby hospitals. Websites are crashing and phones are overwhelmed but I don’t see you have much choice, since there isn’t any centralized place to sign up (which would have been a good thing to have thought about ahead of time).
There are no medical conditions that would prevent you from getting the shot. Per CDC guidelines, you can even get it if you just had covid, as long as you’re outside the isolation period.
This is a terrific vaccine, effective and safe. I had my second one Saturday and after about 12 hours I had chills and aches which went on for about a day and a half. It was worth it.