What can be said about the last year? Along with higher gas and food prices, inflation, climate chaos, vaccine hesitancy, arguments over masking, and Congressional fights over trillion dollar spending bills, we continue to suffer from the scourge of the COVID pandemic. Will things be better in 2022?
It seems like we continue to fight over issues where the choices are clear and need to reflect the requirements of the moment. As a physician, the choices seem clear to me, get vaccinated, wear a mask when in a crowd, get your booster, and do the things that need to be done. We really have little control over prices, inflation, etc., but we do control our own behavior and, in this case, our own destiny.
Adapting to change is not easy, and changing behavior is the most difficult of all, but doing the right things as adults is more important than ever. I have talked with many patients in my exam rooms over the last year. I have long since given up on being confrontational or overly directive concerning COVID vaccinations, knowing that most of the vaccine hesitancy I have encountered is related to misinformation. I simply ask patients to explain their reason for not vaccinating. I do not argue with the explanations, but simply ask that patients reconsider their decision based on the facts.
What I have learned this past year is that you can walk with someone, but you cannot walk for them.