I had two computers and my cellphone all connected to the Publix vaccine website last Friday morning when I finally hit pay dirt.
After getting up at 5 a.m. to log into the COVID vaccine queue for the fourth time, I was finally invited to come get the first of my two shots. I did so on Wednesday evening.
A month from now I will get the second shot.
I consider it my responsibility to follow the directions of the public health professionals, hospital administrators and physicians of our community. We have been told to take precautions like wearing masks, washing our hands and keeping social distance in order to limit the spread of this virus.
And we have been told to get the vaccine shot when it is made available. To the best of my ability, I have followed those recommendations.
I realize lots of people don’t believe the medical professionals and instead look to politicians to provide the answers to this pandemic. It is a strange world when we start taking medical advice from politicians. We don’t believe the same politicians when they tell us they’re going to lower taxes and improve services, but we believe them when they give us medical advice?
Excuse me for my skepticism, but if I run into a politician at a restaurant and he tells me the steak is really good, I’m going to order the chicken.
Why listen to these folks when they tell us this pandemic is fake? More than 450,000 Americans have died from this catastrophe. We have had 354 die right here in Citrus County. I know some of the deceased — they are not faking this.
Would you listen to your CPA if she gave you advice on how to fix a broken leg? If the guy who cuts the lawn gave you stock tips would you follow his advice? If a Yankee fan had advice on how the Mets should improve their pitching rotation — would you listen?
My advice would be no. If you did listen, you would probably walk with a limp, have no money in the bank and have a team that always finishes one spot out of last place.
I am not smart enough to give medical advice. I will admit that I urge people to follow the advice of physicians and it was I who proposed that we publish a photo of county commissioner Jeff Kinnard when he was getting his vaccine shot last week.
I realized there were some members of our county commission who have refused to follow the advice of the medical experts, and I thought it would send a safe and informed message to Chronicle readers to show Dr. Kinnard getting his shot. While Dr. Kinnard is not over the required age 65, he is a medical professional who comes in contact with many patients on a daily basis, and there are recommendations that medical professionals get the vaccine.
He was urged to get the vaccine shot not because he was a county commissioner, but because he deals with patients. Political strings were not pulled.
I asked Dr. Kinnard if we could run a photo and he complied. He then got beat up all over Facebook and social media sites for getting a vaccine when others are still waiting.
I apologize to Dr. Kinnard; it is sometimes difficult to anticipate the response you get from some folks when you try to do the right thing.
This is not the first time the world has been slammed with a pandemic that has overwhelmed us. Many millions died in the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak (which really started in Kansas).
There were people who denied the pandemic during those years and they also died at a disproportionately high number.
In our collective arrogance, we like to believe that our scientists and medical experts have advanced enough from 1918 to get this under control quickly. But when the public doesn’t follow the advice of the medical experts and instead follows the politicians, the job is so much more difficult.
The pandemic of all pandemics happen during the Middle Ages (1347-1352) when more than 30 million people died from The Black Death. That was about 40% of the total population of the impacted area.
One of the interesting proposed cures at the time involved the use of a live chicken. The “Vicary Method” was named after an English doctor named Thomas Vicary who dreamed it up. “A healthy chicken was taken and its back and rear plucked clean, this bare part of the live chicken was then applied to the swollen nodes of the sick person and the chicken was strapped in place. When the chicken showed signs of illness, it was thought to be drawing the disease from the person. It was removed, washed, and strapped back on and this continued until the chicken or the patient died.”
Thirty million people died. I’m not sure about how many chickens were lost.
My suggestion is that when the current pandemic finally wanes, we identify those politicians who have spent this time dispensing crackpot medical advice (and demonstrating bad behavior). We can then go down to Sen. Wilton Simpson’s chicken farm and buy a truckload of chickens.
Only good things can happen from there. The clucking chickens will give them away.
Gerry Mulligan is the publisher of the Chronicle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.