Dengler Domain: Vaccines


I wanted to originally write about my resolutions, but after looking at last year’s column, vaccines were a theme, and this year they should still be a theme. The resolutions are at the end of the column. Thank you as always for reading, and I appreciate you being a reader and subscribing to the North Tama Telegraph.

What a year it has been. Not quite like 2020, but a year full of vaccines, surprises, and a stressed-out populace. While 2021 is better than 2020 in some ways, it feels like it was going to be a lot better at the beginning of this year. Most people thought after the vaccines were distributed life would return to normal, but the new variants said ‘not going to happen.’ In addition, no one could have foreseen the severity of the supply chain issues. It is not an overstatement to say everyone is sick – pun intended – of this pandemic.

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, over 800,000 Americans have lost their lives to this deadly disease. While new information is still being discovered about the severity of the Omicron variant, it is well documented how contagious this variant is. From my anecdotal evidence, I know more people at this point who have gotten COVID-19 in the past few weeks than at any other point during the pandemic. The ones experiencing the most symptoms were the ones who had not received their boosters, but even for these ones, the symptoms were mild.

In a perfect world, vaccines would prevent any type of infection or symptoms, but this is 2021. Life is not perfect. Fortunately, due to the vaccines, it is less likely anyone who has been vaccinated will end up in the hospital. With Omicron being more contagious, it is easier for it to spread and people to experience more symptoms, thus putting a strain on hospitals. This is especially so for those who are unvaccinated. If you look up any hospital statistics, those who are unvaccinated account for more spots in the hospital than those who are vaccinated. From reading stories and anecdotal evidence, it sounds overwhelming to be working in a hospital at this moment in time. If you have not been vaccinated, consider a late Christmas present for the hospital workers. As stated earlier, this has been a long pandemic for everyone involved but doubly so for those working in the health care field, especially at hospitals.

Former President Donald Trump recently spoke about the need to get the vaccine. He was the man who helped speed up the process and cut the bureaucratic tape to get the vaccines to the public as soon as possible. That is a worthy part of his legacy. The Biden administration is only continuing what the Trump administration began.

From my personal experience, I received the Moderna shots when they became available and got my booster the weekend after Thanksgiving. I had a few side effects, but nothing which sidelined me for more than half a day. After traveling a few weeks ago to Miami, Florida, on a plane and back, and being in crowded indoor spaces, COVID has yet to get me. (knock on wood) While I am positive it will eventually find me; I am confident it will not lead to a stay in the hospital, putting more strain on an already strained hospital workforce.

If you have not received the vaccine, no matter your age, I hope you get it in order to 1) protect yourself; 2) protect your loved ones, especially the elderly; 3) protect the community and do it for the common good. I want you to be alive the next time I see you.

Now for the less serious. My resolutions (in no particular order):

1. Workout more.

2. Eat healthier.

3. Spend less time on my phone.

4. Fight crime as a masked vigilante.

5. Do more comedy shows than last year.

6. Dunk a basketball. Fortunately, I have an eight-foot rim.

7. Come out of retirement and run a 5K.

8. Get a dog. But do I want to put in the work?

9. Be appreciative and give thanks more often.

10. Be present.