Distrust and Vaccines
What is the major reason for people declining the COVID vaccine? My answer: distrust. There are other apparent reasons: People are also misinformed, complacent, suspicious, fearful, stubborn, in denial, and there are those who regard declining the vaccine as a sign of loyalty to a political party. As a nurse for so long, I find that last reason very odd.
Collectively, how has this pandemic impacted our mental status and function? Our experiences in getting through the “COVID Era” have varied. Then, of course, we have different baselines with our mental health. But we have all been touched with a “collective trauma,” since this pandemic is a global health issue and has caused major disruptions and various traumas in many aspects of our lives (https://dana.org/article/pandemic-brain-parsing-the-mental-health-toll/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjtjNxt-m7wIVyuDICh0ZxgzhEAMYAyAAEgJgNPD_BwE).
Just like food or breathing, movement is critical to life. The body was designed to move and many body and mind functions suffer if we remain sedentary. Our doctors and other healthcare providers should literally write out a prescription for “physical activity” to treat many of our health problems, including pain. Better yet, physical activity prevents many health problems. If you still have doubt...
We lose close to 18 veterans to suicide on a daily basis. Veteran Andrew “Andy” Marckesano was born in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22, 1986; and just three days after taking a job with the Pentagon in 2020, he took his own life in our nation’s capital. The suicide rate of veterans goes up to 20 suicides daily if active-duty troop members are included
(https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/11/12/suicide-rate-among-veterans-up-again-slightly-despite-focus-on-prevention-efforts/). Despite the numerous programs and ongoing research of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), suicide is still a complex problem with too many unknowns that leaves our veterans at high risk.
Over the years, I have wondered why there was an inherent disregard for my profession. I realized in later years that it was less about people being disrespectful of nurses and more about people associating nurses with the bad times that they experienced. People tend to want to forget their hospitalizations and everything connected to it. But now in a pandemic, we need our nurses, doctors, the many other healthcare workers and our hospitals. With the repeated resurgences of the virus, hospitals are overextended and no one is listening to those who operate inside the walls.
Last month was Part I of this topic. As an overview, I started with the ending: If the full regulatory licensing process is carried out (even with Operation Warp Speed in place), a COVID-19 vaccine will likely be available for distribution well into 2021. But the vaccine will not be a magic bullet that will put an end to wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. These practices will have to continue, and it will take until 2022 before we see some “normalcy” again. Recovery from a world-wide pandemic takes time; here’s why.
I will start with the ending: If the full regulatory licensing process is carried out (even with Operation Warp Speed in place), a COVID vaccine will likely be available for mass distribution later into 2021. But the vaccine will not be a magic bullet that will put an end to wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. These practices will have to continue, and it will take until 2022 before we see some “normalcy” again. Recovery from a world-wide pandemic takes time; here’s why.
If all of us wore masks, we could bring the COVID-19 cases under control within a month or two (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and save the U.S. economy $1 trillion (https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahhansen/2020/06/30/a-national-mask-mandate-could-save-the-us-economy-1-trillion-goldman-sachs-says/#4f3d5f5756f1). At the early onset, people were initially confused about the necessity of masks because we did not know how the infection rate would impact the U.S., and there was also a shortage of supplies. Now there is no excuse. Masks are a necessity for both our public health and our economy. How foolish and naïve that Americans are making masks a political issue! As a healthcare provider, I find the current behavior of Americans, who are mismanaging this pandemic, both disrespectful, dangerous and selfish, especially toward the health field.
Is Less Health Information More?
When it comes to our health, we all want good medical care. We are bombarded with health information, but how do we decipher it all? We don’t want to ignore the data, nor do we want to drown in its volume. The right amount of information – utilized wisely – can be very comforting, and lead to good healthcare.
Yoga is a practice that we all can do. It starts with the breath – an extended and deeper breath. With a simple focusing of our breath, we can start on a journey that improves our well being. This breathing process helps to take us away from the flight-or-fight mode in which many of us live everyday. Personally, I do not know anyone who currently is not feeling stressed, to some degree. Do you?
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