Talk to your doctor about COVID-19

I am asking you to make your personal physician your first line source for understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the available vaccines.

On September 9, 2021, President Biden addressed the nation from the White House briefing room, sharing

where we are in the battle against COVID-19, the progress we’ve made, and the work we have left to do.

His remarks outlined a series of executives orders and recommendations which have been met with controversy; I will briefly list them but there was one that I think no one can disagree with. He asked the nation’s family physicians, and I am one, to talk to our patients about the vaccine.

I’m already doing that and I think most primary care doctors are. But I think he should have taken it one step further, and that is to ask Americans to

Talk to your doctor about COVID-19

a female physician talking to a male patient
photo from the LIGHTSTOCK.COM collection (affiliate link)

Like most of you, I am on social media, not just professionally but personally, and I have been appalled when people I know pass around information that is unverified, unreferenced, contrary to science, inflammatory, conspiratorial, and sometimes just plain nonsense.

I absolutely support anyone’s right to have an opinion and share it, but labeling opinion as truth when it may or may not be true is irresponsible. And I somewhat agree with Mr. Biden when he said ” These pandemic politics, as I refer to, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die. “

So I am asking you to make your personal physician your first line source for understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the available vaccines.

Your doctor may not be an expert on the pandemic; we are all working overtime to keep ourselves informed and still take care of the myriad of other health conditons our patients bring to us. But the advantage is your doctor knows you, and any medical decision ultimately boils down to what you and they decide working together, it’s called “shared decision making.”

What if your doctor recommends against the vaccine? That’s possible because I know there are some medical professionals who have taken the minority opinion on the safety of the vaccine. I do not understand their position; some of the high profile ones are known for consistently taking a stance against mainstream medicine. If that’s the case for you, I encourage you to ask why they lack confidence in the vaccine and what would it take for them to change their minds. Ultimately, the choice one way or the other is yours, so be sure it is a truly informed choice.

Michael Munger, M.D., consults a patient at his medical office in Overland Park, Kan.
Photo compliments of American Academy of Family Physicians

President Biden’s plan

You’ve probably read or heard it in the news by now, but here is an outline of his major points.

Large employers, those with 100 or more employees, should require vaccination or weekly testing

Vaccination required for all federal employees and contractors

Vaccine required for employees in all healthcare facilities that are paid by Medicare and Medicaid, and all federally funded educational facilities like HeadStart

Large venues such as sports or concerts to require vaccination or negative test for entrance by patrons

Home tests available at cost at Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger

Federal funding for testing at schools and salary protection for teachers who protect children

Continue mask requirements on interstate travel and in federal buildings

Calling on the states’ governors to support viral mitagation measures in schools

President Biden Visits NIH Vaccine Research Center
NIH immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett speaks to President Joe Biden about the fundamental research that contributed to the development of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines when the President visited NIH’s Vaccine Research Center on February 11, 2021. Credit: NIH/Chiachi Chang

Here is my previous review of President Biden’s original plan to deal with the pandemic as he took office in January 2021.

2021-National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness

President Biden, Vice President Harris, and their science and healthcare teams have developed a plan with 7 goals to end this pandemic and prevent others. You can read the entire 200 page report at the link. Here is a list of the 7 goals with a few of the points of each goal.

1. Restore trust with the American people.
  • establishes a federal COVID-19 response team to coordinate efforts
  • regular public briefings led by science experts
  • track and make data available to the public by the CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate with the World Health Organization (WHO), federal, state and local public health partners, and clinicians in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. CDC is closely monitoring the situation and working 24/7 to provide updates.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate with the World Health Organization (WHO), federal, state and local public health partners, and clinicians in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. CDC is closely monitoring the situation and working 24/7 to provide updates credit James Gathany, public domain
2.Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign.
  • increase the production of vaccines
  • give states clearer projections on vaccine availability
  • partner with states to create more vaccine centers
  • launch a national campaign to educate and encourage Americans on vaccine
3. Mitigate spread through expanding masking, testing, data, treatments,health care workforce, and clear public health standards.
  • asking Americans to wear masks for 100 days (note-this adds to any state or local recommendations or mandates on mask use)
  • require masks on public transportation
  • the CDC develop guidelines to help schools and businesses to reopen
  • create programs to develop new treatments for COVID-19
cloth facial coverings to prevent transmission of COVID-19
Mask use required on airplanes, trains, and other public transportation
4.Immediately expand emergency relief and exercise the Defence Production Act.
  • increase emergency funding to the states for pandemic costs, including for PPE and use of National Guard
  • invoke the Defense Production Act to increase the supply of PPE, and testing and vaccination supplies
5. Safely reopen schools, businesses, and travel while protecting workers.
  • develop a national strategy to reopen most schools within 100 days
  • federal agencies to issue updated guidance on protection for workers
  • asks Congress to provide financial aid to schools, universities, and daycares (cost in the billions)
a girl with a large backpack, walking to a school bus
6. Protect those most at risk and advance equity, including across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines.
  • establishes an equity task force to address disparities based on race, ethnicity, and geography
  • create a U.S. Public Health Workforce to help with testing and vaccinations in their communities
Healthy People 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved [date graphic was accessed], from
7. Restore U.S. leadership globally and build better preparedness for future threats.
  • rejoin the World Health Organization
  • increase humanitarian aid and support efforts to fight COVID-19 around the world
  • asks for Congressional support to establish a national center to prepare for future biological threats
2 bandaids crossed on a world globe
photo from the Lightstock collection (affiliate link)

Exploring the HEART of health

By following this blog, you’ll know when I post additional pieces reviewing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other topics that explore the HEART of health.

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Dr. Aletha

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I appreciate your interest and support. Please visit my Reader Resources page and help me share the HEART of health.

National Doctors’ Day 2021- committed to ending the COVID-19 pandemic

Doctors’ Day 2020 was somber for not only U.S. doctors, but for physicians all over the world. This year we are approaching the end of the biggest medical foe any of us have ever faced- the novel coronavirus pandemic

National Doctors’ Day

Did you know there is a national day to honor physicians? In 1990, the U.S. Congress established a National Doctors’ Day, first celebrated on March 30, 1991.

The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from a doctor’s wife, Eudora Brown Almond,  and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery.

March 30 is Doctors' Day

Doctors’ Day 2020

Doctors’ Day 2020 was somber for not only U.S. doctors, but for physicians all over the world. Many of our offices were closed, or offering only virtual medicine.

Hospitals cancelled elective procedures. Emergency rooms enacted strict measures in order to treat the growing number of COVID-19 patients while protecting other patients.

After several weeks of fairly strict “lockdowns”, restrictions in multiple states were loosened leading to first gradual then rapid surges in cases, many severe enough to require hospital and ICU admission. And with increased infections, came increased deaths.

an electron microscope image of the coronavirus
used with permission, CDC.GOV


The new year brought a post holiday reprieve, as both cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are steadily decreasing in most parts of the United States. This year we are finally optimistic than the worst is over, that we will see the end of the toughest medical foe any of us have ever faced- the novel coronavirus pandemic.

a female physician talking to a male patient
photo from LIGHTSTOCK.COM, media site

Physicians confront a pandemic

I can’t possibly recognize all the physicians who have labored and sacrificed to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections. This is just a small sampling of ones who made the news; most of them didn’t but their role was no less vital

Paul Lynch, m.d., anesthesia/pain management

Dr. Lynch, a pain management specialist, travelled to New York City early in the pandemic to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. He caught COVID-19, but after a severe illness, recovered, and returned home to Arizona.

Here is one of several videos he posed to his YouTube channel.

In March of 2019, the Covid-19 Pandemic hit NYC and its’ hospital system like a typhoon. I trained at Bellevue from 2003-2006 in the Anesthesiology department where among other things we managed the ICU. I made the decision to return and help during this crisis.

rebecca shadowen, m.d., Infectious Disease

In her community, Dr. Shadowen was an advocate for public health measures which were not always well received. She died after contracting a severe COVID-19 infection, having continued her advocacy even from her hospital bed.

Rosalind mitchell, m.d., Emergency medicine

Dr. Mitchell’s sister, Dr. Debby Mitchell Burton, a blogger, honored her sister with this Facebook post. Roz, as her family and friends called her, died of COVID-19 complications in January 2021.

doctor talking to a woman
photo compliments American Academy of Family Physicians

Melissa welby, m.d., psychiatrist

With her psychiatric experience, Dr. Welby offered practical advice about managing the stress of the pandemic, especially in the early days when it was all so new and unknown. Such as this post-

How to stay positive during quarantine

Despite the limitations that come with stay-at-home orders, the range of possibilities for entertaining and enjoyable distractions are vast. Although life balance is always important, it is now essential in order to maintain our mental health during and after the pandemic. Let’s have some fun while trying to stay positive during quarantine.

Dr. Melissa Welby
Female doctor looking at an xray

the kudji doctors

This mother-daughter duo made history by graduating from medical school and starting residencies at the same time.

a woman in white coat with mask over mouth

laurent duvernay-tardif, m.d.

Football player and physician don’t usually go together in the same sentence, but for Dr. Duvernay-Tardif they do.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif refused to choose between earning his MD and playing in the NFL. Today, he’s the first active player who’s also a doctor. At this link you can

Meet the NFL Player Who May Soon Be Your Doctor

“At first I wanted to be an engineer, but after talking with some engineers, I realized there is a lot of computer work, and while I’m a man of science, at the same time I need that human interaction with people,

Medicine is one of the only professions where you get to master the science of things — anatomy, pharmacology, kinesiology — but you also have to interact and communicate with patients from many different cultural and economic backgrounds, and you really have to take into account the social context of each patient in order to come up with the best treatment options.”

Dr. Duvernay-Tardif

your physicians

The most important doctors for you to honor are the ones who helps you, your family, and your community with their health care needs. One way you can honor them is to join them in “sharing the HEART of health” where you live. Some ways you can do this (and you probably already are) include

  • donating to or volunteering at a local food bank
  • assisting with meal delivery to homebound persons
  • fostering and adopting children
  • tutoring students
  • donating to scholarship funds
  • teaching and coaching sports and other physical activities
  • supporting shelters for homeless people
  • helping people effected by natural disasters

Use the comments to tell us what you do and share the impact it has made in the lives of the people who are helped.

Some photos in this post are from the LIGHTSTOCK.COM collection, an affiliate link. Consider Lightstock for your photo and graphic needs. You will get quality media and help support the mission of this blog-to inform and inspire us all to discover the HEART of health.

exploring the HEARTS of physicians

Dr Aletha

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