Viewpoints: Pandemic Triggers A Reimagining Of Health Care; Some Fear Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Inferior
Opinion writers tackle covid, vaccines and long-term health effects.
Improving Healthcare After COVID-19
One year ago, we all entered the unimaginable. As healthcare leaders, none of us could have anticipated the severe illness, loss of life and acute loneliness created by the pandemic. The pandemic alone was enough to make us ask ourselves, "How can we do this better?" But on top of the pandemic and its economic impact, we also faced the magnification of health inequities, as well as a national reckoning on systemic racism. With all of this change and uncertainty, a yearning for stability and sense of normalcy is completely understandable. But as we move forward, let's push the boundaries of the old "normal." We should set our sights, our vision, on a better normal, and a better world for all. (Tina Freese Decker, 3/16)
Los Angeles Times:
There's No Such Thing As A Second-Class COVID Vaccine
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, rolled up his shirt sleeve before TV cameras and reporters Thursday at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza to get inoculated with the newest COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the U.S., a one-shot version made by Johnson & Johnson. In Oakland, the state’s surgeon general, and public health director and other top health officials did the same. The events were convened in largely non-white communities as part of an effort to assure people hesitant to get vaccinated that the shots are safe — and that this one in particular is not an inferior version, despite having less impressive results in clinical trials than the other two vaccines available in the U.S. (3/16)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
I’m An Essential Worker And I Still Can’t Get A Vaccine. When Is It Our Turn?
Essential. This is a word that many have heard in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our health-care heroes have worked tirelessly in the battle against COVID-19 on the front lines at hospitals, nursing homes, and community clinics. These workers have saved many lives and keep communities safe. They truly have endured hardship for access to vaccines for their health and safety, and that of their patients and families. (Dairyn Ortiz and Yecika Ramirez, 3/17)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
How Are The Kids Doing? Wellness Is Especially Important In Pandemic Conditions
As law enforcement leaders in Illinois and Missouri, respectively, we have seen firsthand how our communities prosper when kids get a good start in life. Every child who has the benefit of a healthy, supported upbringing is more likely to grow into a thriving, law-abiding adult. Right now, however, the physical and mental health of our youngest children is at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic. Regularly scheduled appointments with medical professionals are an important component of maintaining kids’ health. Over the last year, the frequency of these well-visits has decreased. (Rick Watson and Jason Armstrong, 3/17)
Why Losing The Sense Of Smell Deserves More Attention
One of the most common, yet remarkable, symptoms of COVID-19 is the sudden loss of smell. Roses are no longer fragrant. Coffee tastes like bitter water, bread like cardboard. You don’t notice the burning roast until the kitchen fills with smoke. Although most patients recover their ability to smell in days or weeks, for a significant number of people this loss may be long-term, or even permanent. Unfortunately, we currently lack effective therapies, let alone cures, for smell disorders. (Steven Munger, 3/17)