Dr. Blaine Jones

Dr. Blaine Jones

It is Friday, Sep. 10 as I type this – one day before the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever on United States soil.

That attack does not come close to the catastrophic attack we are currently seeing currently in our country.

The SARS-Co V-2, or COVID 19 virus is a threat that is terrorizing our country and our world right now. Just this morning, I learned of a 45 year old, otherwise healthy, friend passing away from complications of the virus.

This was not the first time our community has been struck by the death of a young, healthy soul because of this virus, nor will it be the last. Many of my former patients, and just folks in general ask me my opinion on the virus, treatments and the vaccine. What do you think? What do you recommend?

I really miss my patients and my practice, and even with all my health issues I would love to go back to my office and be there for those who entrusted me for their care.

As it is, I have kept up my medical licensure, my continuing medical education credits and I read medical journals daily – not just about COVID issues, but medical advancements in general.

My wife works at Holston Valley in Kingsport, so I am aware each day of the status of the hospital beds available and staff to care for those beds. Let me say right off the top, thank you to all the nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians, and all other ancillary health care professionals who provide unending, compassionate care to each individual brought into their realm.

Our local hospitals are literally about to burst at the seams because of COVID. There are not enough nurses or other ancillary staff available in our area to take care of all those who are sick – and it is all uncalled for. Not the staffing or bed availability, the amount of COVID illness is what is unnecessary!

So, what do we do about that? In my opinion, and if you were my patient, and many of you were, I would HIGHLY recommend you get the COVID 19 vaccination series and then the booster when it is made available to you.

This is in no way a political, religious or any other statement other than medical reasoning and statistics. The latest statistics from the CDC (and nearly the same numbers in our local Ballad Health System) show that 93 out of 100 admissions to the hospital have not been vaccinated or have been only partially vaccinated. 95 out of every 100 people in the ICU have not been vaccinated and 97% of those on ventilators have not been vaccinated. 99% of those who die from the COVID 19 virus have not been vaccinated!

These numbers do not lie! Yes, if you are young, healthy and get COVID 19 there is a 95% chance you survive it. You may have long term symptoms or “long COVID”, but you may survive it. Those with secondary, advanced medical conditions are less likely to survive. The issue is not just sickness and death however. At last count, there had been over 2,000,000 variations of this virus mapped out.

The current variant, Delta, has been much more aggressive, more infective and causing much more illness and death than the original virus. This has been true for young adults and children as well, unlike the original variant. Fortunately, the vaccine prevents even the Delta variant from causing serious illness or death in the event of a breakthrough infection. The vaccine is effective in this, and many regards.

If enough people are vaccinated, mutations and variations decrease, and the closer we come to getting this pandemic under control. Getting the vaccine will not only protect you, but it will also protect your family and your community in many ways.

COVID 19 is here to stay more than likely — just like the flu and many other viral illnesses like the common cold. We will possibly need to have booster shots much like our annual flu vaccine to keep it under control. But, if we can prevent unnecessary illness and death, will it not be more than worth it?

Just the opinion of one of your old, local Docs. May God Bless You Always!