Vaccines Vs Vacations: VACATION!!! It’s a State of Mind.
October 19, 2020
Did I really get into a vaccine debate on Facebook with the COVID-19 Pediatric Group? Yes I did. I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut. I left my comments there because they are actually really important. Someone was complaining about pharmacies giving out flu shots to kids, and I disagreed. I think kids should get their flu shot wherever they are available, and I think they should get other vaccines as well. Sometimes when I shoot my mouth off, I’ll go back and delete comments. But I left these up despite the controversy. And those that feel the same way as I do and are looking at the “big picture” in terms of vaccine rates need to see the comment. But I MUTED a bunch of the repliers. Wow, gotta love Facebook that you can MUTE people. The crux of the issue is that some pediatricians want vaccines only given in their office. I get it. They are actually reimbursed quite a bit for vaccines and well child visits and vaccines are 60% of pediatric outpatient volume. I work in an integrated healthcare system and I don’t need to think about my reimbursements and patient volume. I’m always busy. I do procedures. If pharmacies and dental offices and others give out vaccines, what are pediatricians going to do? It threatens their livelihood and is an existential threat to some of their identity. They believe they are dispensing wonderful advice and care during well child visits. Kids should 100% come in for well child visits. But the truth is they are not coming in for vaccines right now, and they need their vaccines. My take on things is that it’s about the patient. We need to admit when we are supposedly painting things as “for the patient” when it’s really “for us.” I don’t believe it. Then see sick kids! You can start siphoning off work from the urgent cars and EDs. We can start seeing up to 21 years of age. Or stop referring to dermatology or all the specialist, and learn to work up patients more thoroughly for bread and butter stuff. Oh, open up a Headache Clinic! Start training to do bread and butter mental health issues, as we don’t have enough pediatric psychiatrist. Put in implantable birth control. Or go pick up some trash. Trust me, there is enough work for everyone. Their business and livelihood is not my problem. I’m looking at the big picture which is increasing plummeting vaccine rates in the country. It felt so good to MUTE the said person. Flu Vaccines absolutely should be given at pharmacies and I believe HPV should as well, and maybe even dental offices. Why not? If pediatrics can’t survive without vaccines, than what are we? I’m pretty sure we are smart enough and versatile enough to pivot.
Anyway, this will teach me to stay off Facebook today. LOL. Let me check one last time. [Pause] Yes, comments still going!
Anyway, thank you for coming along with me on my crazy journey. I am responsible for vaccine measures at work and trying to think of innovative ways to increase vacccine rates which is why I commented on this. And then there is the climate work as well. So indulge me and let’s just do some silly things on the blog this morning.
I think we are in for another probably 6 months of on and off quarantine. What about you? I have no additional information, but it seems like we are entering the third wave of infections. Right in time for Thanksgiving! Yeah us. This is why its so important to get the flu vaccine out there. Maybe I should wear my #flufighter shirt today? It definitely convinced some of my patients to get the vaccine the first time I wore it. But given that we have another 3-6 months of quarantine-like conditions, we need to all go on vacation. At least a MENTAL VACATION.
What is a MENTAL VACATION? I think it’s anything that you do that is new. Something that gives you a sense of novelty. I wanted here to list FIVE MENTAL VACATIONS/PROJECTS I’m looking forward to. I’d rather think of my mental vacation than the comments on that facebook comment I left on vaccines that irritated half of the pediatricians.
- Huckleberry Pie Bars: One of my good highschool friends dropped off a tupperwear of Montana Huckleberries! I am so excited for various reasons. This ingredient to me is like a unicorn, I did not know it really existed. My good friend suggested this receipe which I will try tonight or tomorrow. https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/recipes/blackberry-pie-bars-recipe/?fbclid=IwAR2U0yHPHJIYiJD46RDRhq3rdON0XRQeXBFp0sd9qau-IHoqOmW2sjCDm1k
- Wonder Years and Lazy Dog TV Dinners: Dr. Jill Gustafson mentioned this on her personal facebook page. This is a local restaurant that makes nostalgic TV Dinners in aluminum trays for $10 a person. They look so good! I was mentioning to Mr. Plastic Picker that it would be fun to do a Friday night dinner with them and watch Wonder Years or something from that era! Thank you Dr. Gustafson for the inspiration. She is one creative pediatrician! https://www.lazydogrestaurants.com/menu
- Aerobin 400 Composter: I am so excited about this! I have to call during business hours to get my discount! They are going to sell it to me at the Costco price 224 with shipping. Just checked again, Costco is still SOLD OUT. This will be fun to work on over the winter. Can you imagine all that beautiful compost???!!! Lots of future Instagram photos.
- ROAD TRIP TO SAN FRANCISCO: Between now and Christmas, we are renovating and selling a rental property. We are planning on doing a 1031 property exchange and I’m hoping to buy a condo in San Francsico. We shall see. But we want to take a roadtrip up to the bay area, and just stay at Hiltons along the way. We felt very safe during our trip to Palm Springs Hilton. Maybe stop by to see a few colleges (just walk the grounds without seeing nor touching anyone) for our son, and see some properties with the agent up there.
I can’t think of a fifth mental vacation? Do you have a MENTAL VACATION that you are planning? Maybe Dr. Plastic Picker can be inspired by your ideas to give me a mental break. I’m going to stay off that COVID-19 Pediatric Facebook group. I have to pilot a virtual teen PE visit workflow this week, and work out the kinks. OMG can you imagine the reply from some on this group if I mentioned that????!!! Seriously, I complain about our HMO a lot but we are light-years ahead of the country and most outpatient pediatric practices.
One of the greatest gifts I’ve received from taking on this Dr. Plastic Picker role is being able to put folks reactions or comments in the context of where they are coming from. I have to deal with this every day at work. I also have learned to take a stance when it’s important, and vaccine rates are important. It’s literally life and death. Just like plastic. Stopping ocean plastic pollution is also life and death. But isn’t it great when we can take MENTAL VACATIONS from these things that we’ve all taken on. I hope this post finds you well this Monday, ready to go forth and get through another week. Wishing you all the best for this week and don’t let those Facebook comments keep you down. Just MUTE them and go about your life. LOL.