The Fauci Effect
The year 2020 has been one like no other. The conversations we had with our children and grands likely were electronically transmitted. Letters and notes make great personal history. Below I share the substance of an email I sent my eleven-year-old grandson.
The Fauci Effect
All of us are familiar with Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is on the news frequently about COVID-19, and for so long has been the person we trust to give us what he knew about the disease. He refused to be cowed by President Trump. We respect him for that. He is a professional, a man who has been around through several epidemics.
Today, I felt good when I heard that the number of college students signing up to become doctors rose 18% this year. This is believed to be due to the great impression Dr. Fauci made and continues to make as he informs us about Covid.
You will notice that he does not come on with a lot of bluster and hot air. He does not equivocate. He’s a straight arrow; very direct and polite with no BS. We are grateful to him for that.
We must thank all the healthcare workers today. Being a doctor, nurse or other hands-on medical professional is self-endangering to say the least. Then there are other healthcare workers who are in much lowlier but important positions. Examples are medical assistants, food service helpers, and cleaning personnel. We must thank them also. The hospital could not run without them, but they are often forgotten when we applaud the direct caregivers. These are not high paying positions. The workers are quiet, and rarely seen in the TV clips. When they are interviewed, they are modest, but they appreciate when they are recognized.
The great thing about Dr. Fauci is that his attitude when being interviewed is not so different from the lowliest workers; he speaks as a servant, a man with a purpose who is blessed with a great education and opportunity to serve. When you are professional, and you know what you know, you do not have to beat your chest or look down on others.
I have always been fascinated with the history of medicine. Forever there have been epi- and pandemics. Forever we have been in a fight with microbes, especially viruses and bacteria. Just when we zap one, another pops up, a process of evolution. Today, however, science seems capable of eventually defeating these bugs rather than just having them run their course without interference. Already, several vaccines have been announced for Covid. This is the quickest ever.
We still have much time to go before everyone can be vaccinated, probably another 7 or 8 months is the guesstimate. We still must be careful. And, just as we still have much to learn about the disease itself, we still must study the effects of the vaccine, especially any long-term effects. But nevertheless, we can rejoice and be hopeful that before too long you can join your friends at school again with some confidence that all of you are safe.
By the way, when I was a child the feared epidemic was poliomyelitis (polio), a crippling disease that mostly affected children. Dr. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio. Like Dr. Fauci, Dr. Salk was held in high regard.
When my parents were young adults, tuberculosis was the worry. It’s still around. Today it is usually (but not necessarily) among people living in unsanitary conditions, the very poor. The rise of polio was believed to be in part the result of improved sanitation, where children living in clean environments had little exposure to bad germs and thus were more susceptible to the disease.
Anyway, read more about Dr. Fauci. Look up Dr. Jonas Salk and see what he accomplished and what it meant to all of us.
I love you, Grandson. I hope I have given you something to think about. Maybe you want to be a doctor. Something to check out anyway. The more careers you are familiar with, the more likely it is you can choose the one for you.