A Month for Thanksgiving

While the last couple of years have been challenging, November is the month to say, “Thanks.”

We have many things for which we can be thankful. That the vaccines to prevent or lessen the symptoms of COVID-19 were developed in record time using production processes already developed in the creation of other previous vaccines.

We can be thankful for not only the success in creating these COVID-19 vaccines, but their subsequent effectiveness and overall safety. Now, similar to flu vaccines, we know that COVID-19 vaccines effectiveness wanes with time and annual booster injections might be in our future (as it has been for flu vaccines for many, many years).

We can be thankful to the scientists who have worked tirelessly to develop other drugs now used to lessen the symptoms of COVID-19. Drug infusions and now pill regimens that have saved countless people who have contracted COVID-19.

We can be thankful for the men and women who, throughout this pandemic, went to work in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies despite the risk to themselves and their families. These clearly are the heroes identified by the pandemic.

We can be thankful for the healthcare professionals and average Americans who used their positions to advocate for the use of COVID-19 vaccines despite the threats and vile comments they received.

We can be thankful for those medical professionals who put off retirement to meet the challenges of the last two years.

We can be thankful for the Americans who continue to be thoughtful about their own health and the health of others and continue to wear masks in public situations and to attempt to remain socially distanced and to use good hand hygiene.

We also can be thankful for our statesman politicians who continue to use their positions to advocate for what is best for Americans; their continuing efforts to cut through the political rhetoric and to talk about the science of vaccinations.

I am thankful that I am allowed the opportunity to take advantage of science by getting my annual flu vaccine (already done) and, as of one week ago, to take my booster dose of the Moderna vaccine to help keep me safe. I have a granddaughter and a grandson on the way and I need to be there for them! It is my responsibility to stay healthy.

While this is a month of thanksgiving, I am also aware that almost 740,000 Americans have lost their lives to this pandemic and for them I feel sadness. We cannot get them back and we also cannot fill the holes left in the hearts and minds of their children, grandchildren, wives, husbands, and parents.

Please, help me be thankful and let us try and end preventable deaths. Vaccines have been with us for a long time, and they have dramatically reduced the numbers of childhood deaths to formerly common and now not too common diseases. Reach out and ask your doctor for advice…be thankful you did.