Seniors Older and Wiser

IT SOUNDS LIKE A NO BRAINER that healthcare workers should be vaccinated against covid-19. But this week the VA and hospitals across the United States are starting to mandate vaccines for their employees. Employees will still have a choice, VA and hospital employees can either show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing to show they are virus free.

GOVERNMENT VACCINE MANDATES: These new regulations are coming in the wake of spikes in infection and deaths due to the more contagious delta variant. Over 90% of recent coronavirus deaths are unvaccinated people. In an attemt to protect the public our government is slowly starting to mandate proof of vaccination for employees starting with with the VA. Compare this to France. Last week France approved a law requiring special virus passes for all restaurants and domestic travel and mandating vaccinations for all health workers. The French virus passes that the public are now required before members of the public are allowed to enter a restaurant or theater. Most French citizens support this legislation.

MASKS: Not wearing a mask during inside public gatherings is a bad idea as long as there are unvaccinated people. The CDC wants to make certain we understand that our vaccines are safe and offer us protection but because the delta variant is so much much contagious they suggest you wear a mask. Lets look at this, our vaccines are 88% effective at protecting us. What that means is that if you are vaccinated and then you are exposed to covid-19 you very likely will not die from covid-19 and very likely will not require hospitalization. But even vaccinated people if exposed can have symptoms and get sick. Your mask gives you that added protection.

LONG HAULERS: About 30% of people who get infected with covid-19 and recover continue to suffer from a variety of debilitating symptoms such as brain fog, loss of balance, exhaustion and difficulty breathing. These patients are referred to a long haulers. The long haulers are not just seniors, they include young parents, athletes and party boys. This is another good reason to get vaccinated. In interviews these long haulers will say things like "I didn't believe it was real," or "I thought it was just like the flu." Importantly, President Biden has now suggested changes to social security that will allow long haulers who can no longer work to be eligible for federal disability payments. Biden has suggested shortening the benefit waiting time from the current five months. This is all brand new. We need to advocate for these changes.

VACCINATION RATES: Here are some samples of worldwide vaccination rates:

United States 49.7%

Washington 57.3%

British Columbia 72%

Japan 25.7%

King County 70%