Friday, November 13, 2009

This Thanksgiving Season – Be Thankful, Be Giving

For most people, the Thanksgiving holiday means a day off work (for some a 4 day weekend), a roast turkey or some other huge meal, and family gatherings. It also means that the Christmas holiday is right around the corner, and we will soon be consumed with shopping.

The Thanksgiving holiday should be more that just a day off work and a day of eating. While the words “thanks” and “giving” can both be found in the name of the holiday, sometimes those two things are the farthest things from people’s minds. This should be a time where we should reflect on what is really important in our lives – family, friends, good health, for examples. This should also be a time where we should give a little to help others who may not be as fortunate. Find a charity that is meaningful to you, and make a donation. For me, I have a favorite organization that cares for severely disabled and special needs children and adults. I am forever grateful for the support they provide for my nephew, who has severe disabilities.

So for this Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage everyone to put real thanks, and real giving, back in this holiday. Please consider giving thanks by helping your favorite charity and make a donation.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine Distribution: A Disorganized Mess

NBC’s Today Show reported this morning that some Wall Street firms (some being described as “influential firms”) have access to the swine flu vaccine, while many hospitals and doctors’ offices are still waiting to receive their supply to treat high-risk people. (The video of the news story is below.) With near panic setting in with people who are either in the high-risk category themselves, or for those who have children in the high-risk category, this is not welcome news.

I know that many businesses make traditional flu shots available to their employees, but this case with the swine flu vaccine highlights the inequality of how crucial vaccines may be doled out. My opinion is that any vaccine – swine flu or not – should be made available to hospitals, doctors’ offices, or other medical organizations and institutions first, and then when that demand is satisfied, the vaccine can be made available to other organizations as needed.

With continued reports of there not being enough vaccine to go around to high risk people, it is appalling that somehow Wall Street firms and banks have found a way to move themselves up the list. It’s bad enough that some of these same companies were partly to blame for the recent economic collapse and needed to be bailed out financially, but now they want to take a vaccine away from a more deserving child or pregnant woman? It’s greed at its worst. Those vaccines should be immediately pulled from their use.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if there ever was a virus that threatened all of humanity, if we respond in this same slow and disorganized manner, we may very well be doomed. It’s time to bring some organization, and some fairness, to the vaccine process. How about something simple – hospitals, doctors, and medical institutions get the supply first, with the highest priority?

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Check out my blog home page for the latest information,
The Frequent Critic, here.