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When good news feels outweighed by bad news


I’ve been dealing with a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that a vaccine-hesitant family member finally got their first dose.

That’s great. Even if job requirements prompted it after the FDA approval made way for more mandates, at least it’s a step in the right direction.

But while I’m glad my family member will be better protected now, I can’t help but feel frustrated that it’s taken this long.

We’re all seeing the headlines about COVID surges and breakthrough cases. Or maybe you know someone who contracted the virus after being fully vaccinated.


Either way, it feels like so much pain and suffering could have been avoided if more people protected themselves (and, in turn, others) sooner.

Maybe things wouldn’t be dragging on for quite so long. Perhaps we could all be connected and reunited with family and friends again.

I’d hoped we could return to regular family holiday plans this year, but that’s not the case. It isn’t very pleasant.

More: Some families are already dreading the holidays as vaccine debates cause strife

So while I feel conflicted along with a mix of other emotions, I’m trying to stay positive and look forward. Even if things are different than expected, I’m grateful to be still making memories.

Flu shots: When should I get one?

No one knows what to expect from this year’s flu season, but my colleague Alia E. Dastagir reported everything you need to know about getting a shot this year.

good news

Last year, influenza virtually disappeared largely because of widespread adherence to COVID safety measures – social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing. But the nature of the flu – a notoriously difficult disease to predict – and uncertainty around how a pandemic-weary nation will exercise caution this fall, make it impossible to know what lies ahead.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that, with rare exceptions, everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every season. Public health experts say vaccination is vital to protect individuals, and communities and to avoid burdening already overtaxed healthcare systems.

“The big risk here is that our healthcare system has limited capacity. In the winter, it usually hits that capacity in many places absent COVID, and flu is often a big contributor,” Dan Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety and a professor in the Department of International Health at Hopkins University, said during a press briefing Wednesday. “I’m not going to try to tell you what will happen in the fall, but I will say that we have perfect vaccines for COVID. We have reasonably good vaccines for the flu. We should use them both as widely as possible and hope we don’t see co-pandemics that worsen things.”


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