So Many Lives Needlessly Lost

 

Yesterday I lost a brother to cancer.

I thought he was the cat with nine lives. Once he "died" of heart failure and even though the car he was in was in rush hour traffic and it took more than 15 minutes to reach a hospital they were able to restore a heartbeat but gave us no hope he would ever come back. With each passing day the doctors calls grew more dispiriting. After four days I was told that his organs were probably shutting down and to book my flight.  On day five his eyes opened, he sat up and demanded to be released.

Two years later he was driving through Detroit en route to some museum that collected vintage Auburn cars and he came down with viral meningitis.  More of the same phone calls but, again, he defied the prognosis and was soon in an air ambulance to bring him home. He began to think he was immortal.

Then about a year ago he started having intestinal problems that went misdiagnosed. Everything that was tried failed. His doctors wanted the full deal - ultra-sound, CAT scans, MRI, the lot. So my brother's name was added to the waiting lists and, in this era where Covid cases have left hospitals overwhelmed, those waiting lists are longer than ever.

When the tests were finally conducted they were positive for colon cancer. That's often treatable but not this time. During the delay the cancer had metastasized and spread to his liver, his lungs and his kidneys. He underwent surgery and an intensive round of chemo but that too failed. Finally the cancer reached his brain and he was admitted to hospice.

We've had months to reflect on this sad business and the state of health care in the age of Covid. We've all read the reports of intensive care beds now filled mainly with anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, the same people who berate nurses and doctors and spread stories of this being a hoax.

We can't say that, but for these social reprobates, his cancer might have been detected early enough to make a difference. We can't say that, regardless, he wouldn't have died. What we can say is that, overall, there are plenty of people dying of cancer or heart disease or any number of other afflictions who would be alive today but for this social scourge.

Mark dodged a couple of bullets, just not the last one.  He was a wonderful guy and, throughout his ordeal, he showed incredible grace and, for that, he made me immensely proud of him.

We know, roughly, how many people have died of Covid-19 and how many of those deaths can be attributed to the vaccine hesitant.

Earlier this week Noam Chomsky wrote an op-ed in which he called for these vaccine refusenicks to remove themselves from society.  

"Suppose there are people who say ‘it’s an attack on my liberty to make me stop at a red light. It’s government overreach.’ They don’t want the state to have that power ‘over my private life’ … Well, such people should have the decency to remove themselves from the community,’” he said.

“If they refuse to do that, then measures have to be taken to safeguard the community from them.”

There are already reports of at least one new variant of the coronavirus en route. We can't keep going back to day one.  What is this, the fourth wave?

I took some time this morning to try to discover how many people have been killed by vaccination. Not surprisingly the results have been heavily gamed by the anti-vax crowd, the ultimate scare-mongers.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) was established in 1990 as a national early warning system to detect potential safety problems with vaccines. It is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The system allows anyone who has received a vaccine (not just a COVID-19 vaccine) to report “adverse events” (think side effects) that they experience following vaccination. Health care providers are required to submit reports of events that come to their attention even if the events clearly have no relationship to vaccination.

The system serves to alert federal health authorities to potential safety concerns, but it is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a particular problem. All reports to the system are unverified.

Since December 2020, more than 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S., and VAERS has received 6,968 reports of death (0.0019%), according to the CDC. (Numbers as of Aug. 26, 2021.)

However, that statistic offers no insight into the cause of death for those people. If a 90-year-old nursing home resident got the vaccine and then died days, weeks or even months later of another ailment, the resident’s death would be reported to VAERS.

Even if the unverified accounts were accurate and if every report was an actual death and not just some adverse reaction and if every death could be laid at the feet of the vaccine,  the fatality rate stands at 0.0019%. And yet we allow these reprobates to gin up these figures, to stand reality on its head, in order to spread havoc and undermine our healthcare system.

Enough.



Comments

  1. Sorry to hear of your loss.

    Re, We've all read the reports of intensive care beds now filled mainly with anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, the same people who berate nurses and doctors and spread stories of this being a hoax.

    And so it is in Nanaimo .
    I have an ongoing disagreement with cancer that requires occasional testing and surgery.
    That I or others could have treatment delayed ( some have) because hospital beds are taken by deniers goes beyond frustration.

    Once again we have to ponder; what comes first.
    Rights or responsibilities?

    TB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've discussed this problem with two doctors. Both agreed that while people have a right to refuse vaccination and the public health system has an obligation to treat them there should be some consequence to it such as requiring them to pay all or part of their care costs.

      We also need to revisit our position on intensive care. Should those who have accepted vaccination get priority over those who refuse the vaccine? We have a similar protocol for heart and lung transplants. You don't even get on the list unless you have a suitable period of non-smoking. Smoke while you're on the list and you have to go right back to again qualifying to get on the list.

      I know another fellow on a similar testing/periodic surgery routine. He's an Australian, the old school type that for years were happy to cavort in the hot sun in just a pair of army shorts. Now he gets melanomas that have to be surgically removed every two or three years.

      Getting old isn't much fun, TB. Just don't give up.

      Delete
  2. Words are insufficient to console you for your loss but I do share your frustration with those that choose to not take the simple action to reduce the spread of Covid but then fill our hospitals when they fall ill with it.
    Our doctors and more particularly our nurses are hero's, overworked hero's! I have seen their dedication and care from both sides of the bed, 5 years ago I was brought back from the dead after having a brain aneurysm, like your brother after a short hospital stay I refused to stay down and returned to near normal after about 6 months. The care and dedication of the nursing staff was further demonstrated just 2 years later when my wife diagnosed with aggressive cancer also received that care unfortunately not to return home, to say the nurses are wonderful simply does not cover what they do daily on an ongoing basis.
    I will not expand upon my thoughts about those who gather unmasked in large groups to 'protest' the use of same but then expect to receive the same care that those who's treatment as been canceled due the the overwhelmed facilities. Those words would not be suitable for publication!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Rural. It is discouraging how society has allowed these conspiracy fearmongers to rise to the level of a disruptive force. We once treated them as fringe players, harmless idiots. We didn't see them as a threat.

      It's not just chemtrails or vaccines or lizard people any more. These miscreants have aquired political clout. They became a sizeable component of Trump's base and he played to their delusions.

      I don't know if we can put that malevolent genie back in its bottle but I fear, if we don't, how we'll cope with their disruption in the difficulties to come.

      Delete
  3. So sorry for your loss. What a tragic time to fall ill. Absolutely, let's take the anti-vax crowd out for breaking the law, but I'm still waiting for it to BE a law to be vaccinated in my parts.

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    1. We must find the means to neutralize emerging threats, Marie. Even Chomsky agrees when he wrote: “If they refuse to do that, then measures have to be taken to safeguard the community from them.”

      For years I've written about the decline of social cohesion in America and now here at home. These miscreants sow fear and suspicion and I sense something a bit tribal in it.

      This is a threat that demands the co-ordinated efforts of all three levels of government.

      Delete
  4. Deeply sorry to hear about your loss.

    ReplyDelete

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