Up to here with pandemic life? We all are, but... - (9/21/2021)

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

"But, what about next year, doc?" Ed asked the pharmacist. "Do you think the COVID virus will go away by 2022? I am sick of these masks, precautions, and the fear of being in a room full of people. I thought this past summer we were done with all that." "We might have had more freedom," the pharmacist replied drily. “But, then, the Delta variant reared its ugly head, more contagious than ever and more determined to spread. However, it seems that COVID misinformation is just as contagious and more deadly than the disease itself."

The vaccines gave us great hope. However, thanks to propaganda platforms like Fox, Newsmax, and OAN - sources of anti-vaccine disinformation, and WTF!, where the commentators are vaccinated to beat the band! - the virus was transformed from a lifeless unit into a living political football. 

Getting the vaccine instantly became unpatriotic. People do not want to wear masks. They interfere with their "free-dumbs." You've heard the stories about anti-vaxxers getting clobbered by COVID, begging to receive the vaccine, realizing too late that they were wrong. Leaving their orphaned babies behind. The pharmacist knows that Hell has a dungeon for the dozen well-paid media asswipes who have died from COVID, killing thousands of their listeners with their toxic hogwash. 

So, where are we at the end of 2021? Back to Ground Zero. The perfect storm of rising infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. No ICU beds left. Exhausted health care workers. As a result, despite having mountains of vaccines, the US is now seeing more than 2,000 (98% vaccine preventable) deaths a day. The heck with waving Old Glory from your front porch. Use it as a death shroud instead. 

The pharmacist was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. The disease was caught while it was still treatable. Immunotherapy and radiation did the trick. By winter, the cancer had been defeated. Yet, some of those cancer cells set up shop in his lungs. Now, rather than a cure, his oncologist is discussing "drugs to prolong life," "metastatic," "inoperable," "incurable." Suddenly, with the force of a swift kick to the butt, the pharmacist's options were severely dialed back. No treatment – 6 months. With treatment, maybe two years. And that's with declining health – the weight loss, the pain, the fatigue. That trip to Australia? Nope. Seeing his grandkids finish high school? Not gonna happen. His choice to live or die has been confiscated. A COVID vaccine means you have a choice as to whether you want to live or die. No such vaccine exists for the pharmacist.

By all means, let these anti-vaccine losers – condemned to die anyway – occupy 4 weeks of ICU space while they cry on FaceTime to their families to get the damn vaccine. Meanwhile, folks with heart attacks, severe injuries, and other "less acute" conditions can't get a bed to save their lives. Literally. These anti-vaxxers should be billed while their sorry butts languished in precious hospital space. With school starting and no vaccines for those under 12 until maybe Halloween, will Thanksgiving be turkey with all the trimmings or tiny white coffins and a funeral via Zoom?

Despite all this, there are still people like Ed. "It's just another version of the flu," he said. The pharmacist will not get into the numbers that show COVID is 30 times deadlier than the flu. Ed's head is too ugly and poisoned. Maybe those of his ilk need to die off, so the rest of us can move on. The pharmacist wants to ask Ed, "You say you are sick of pandemic life? Are you sick of life itself?” The pharmacist is not sick of life. So, he will take every day of pandemic life he can get.

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a recovering pharmacist and writer-in-residence at Rx-Press.

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