Los Angeles Times
She has vaccination envy
Dear Amy: I have been close friends with “Brenda” since we were kids. We touch base a few times a week (electronically). We are now both 65 and live in the same community.
Like everyone, we’ve been struggling to get COVID vaccinations.
Brenda messaged me, saying, “Our friend called us last-minute to come get vaccinated, since the pharmacy had leftover vaccine and they wanted to use it up before it went bad. We had to get there quickly, and we did, and got vaccinated.”
I am glad to know that my dear friend and her husband were vaccinated. But I am really stung that she did not phone me and tell me about this opportunity.
If she had said, “My friend said there were only two vaccines left, so I didn’t call you,” I would have been OK with that.
If the situation had been reversed, I would have called her right away.
I was flummoxed and simply told her I was glad to hear the good news.
But I am feeling hurt and feel like our friendship has been bruised.
I guess I’m hoping that by sharing this it might make people think a bit, or maybe I just need to vent.
Your thoughts? Disappointed in the Northeast
Dear Disappointed: I’ve read of long lines forming at some vaccine-dispensing pharmacies, sometimes well before the pharmacy opens in the morning — all for the chance at snagging a dose of leftover vaccine Some pharmacies are offering leftover doses rather than destroy the vaccine at the end of the day (after all appointed doses have been given).
Most often, few doses are available, so you should assume that in your friend’s case, you would not have been able to snag one.
I realize that a sort of “every man for himself” ethic seems to have taken hold regarding the vaccine, but one way to see this is: Now that your friend and her husband are vaccinated, this frees up two more doses for others.
All the same, you should tell your friend how you feel.
Dear Amy: I’m a physician.
Over the years, it’s increasingly common for not only family and friends but co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances I haven’t seen for 30 years to ask me for medical advice.
Fortunately, my health system frowns on me writing prescriptions or performing minor procedures unless they are a registered patient.
It’s not that I don’t care, but after working long hours treating extremely sick patients during this pandemic, the last thing I want to do when I’m off and at a social gathering or doing yard work is to discuss medical concerns or look at rashes.
I got off social media partly because I was inundated with medical questions and concerns. If it’s a medical emergency, it’s one thing, but please ask your readers to call their own doctor for medical concerns.
I’m not sure you have an answer as to how I decline from giving advice or examining someone without appearing uncaring.
I’m Not on Call Now
Dear Not on Call: The pandemic has unleashed a lot of anxiety about health. People also are forgoing routine doctor visits and testing because of a lack of access.
A personal triage system might work. Yes, you will always respond to emergencies; for non-emergencies you could say, “It’s always best to see your own doctor.”