Viewpoints: Covid’s Heavy Toll On Physicians; What’s Behind The Vaccine Slowdown?
Opinion pages examine these Covid and vaccine issues.
My 'Postmortem' Folder Made This Covid-19 Surge Extra Personal
Each morning when I arrive at my primary care clinic, the first thing I do is open the electronic medical record and hunt through my inbox. It’s a hodgepodge of folders — patient calls, patient messages, outside messages, contact center messages, staff messages, prescription messages — that often overlap and are frequently overloaded with the medical equivalent of spam. But there’s one folder, Postmortem, that’s unambiguous in its content and purpose. As the pandemic raged from the winter surge through to the spring slog, Postmortem lit up with a dispiriting regularity. I opened it with dread as it revealed which of my patients had perished that week. (Danielle Ofri, 5/12)
The Real Covid Variant Risk From India's Pandemic Wave Is Being Missed
If you haven’t heard of B.1.617 yet, chances are you soon will. This particular Covid-19 variant is at least partly behind the overwhelming second wave in India, the current global epicenter of the pandemic. The World Health Organization has now raised B.1.617 from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern.” Authorities like Public Health England are already treating it as the latter, meaning there’s something worrying about one or more of the criteria on which a virus is judged — including how fast it transmits, how many it kills, and whether it evades detection or makes vaccines less effective. (Andy Mukherjee, 5/11)
The Washington Post:
Teens Could Become The Ambassadors For Vaccination That We Need
The Food and Drug Administration has just authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, a decision that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to affirm on Wednesday. The first adolescents in this age group could be getting their inoculations as early as Thursday. This is not just big news for teens and their parents. It could be transformative in the race to vaccinate America. (Leana S. Wen, 5/11)
The Baltimore Sun:
Media Need To Answer This Question: What Do We Know To Be True About COVID Safety, Especially Masks?
There have been few stories as big and complicated in my lifetime as the pandemic, and we in the media are once again at a point in covering it where clarity and exactitude are needed perhaps more than ever. For the most part, though, we are not following through on that, especially on wearing masks and relaxed mandates. There is a lot of talk on TV news programs about masks and when and where they need to be worn, and I think a lot of people are confused about it. (David Zurawik, 5/11)
Los Angeles Times:
Welcome To America — For A COVID-19 Vaccine Shot
Vaccine tourism started cropping up in the U.S. at the beginning of the year, but only unofficially; state governments didn’t endorse it, and foreigners preferred not to discuss it out loud. Now that millions of Americans have gotten their shots, though, the situation has changed. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced his plans to offer shots to tourists. Once approved, mobile vans with Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be placed at famous sights: the Empire State Building, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the High Line and Central Park. (Yana Pashaeva, 5/11)
The New York Times:
Are We Following The Science Or Our Tribes?
As vaccinations pick up, coronavirus cases drop and immunity broadens, our communities nationwide are reopening — but at wildly different paces. And a time that should mostly be dominated by relief and celebration has been overtaken by vitriol and smug regional comparisons. Much of the bickering plays out on the battleground of social media, where competing data sets and cherry-picked anecdotes become fodder for justifying what we already believe. (Carrie McKean, 5/12)