No, Governor Newsom, Lifting the Curfew Now Doesn't Take You Off the Hook For COVID-19

THE DOCTOR’S IN-Fair is fair--if Governor Newsom or any other pol screws up, or succeeds, that politician deserves any credit or scorn he/she deserves.

It's anybody's guess that Newsom's sudden relaxing of stay-at-home orders and the potential reopening of salon and restaurants is scientific or political in its origins. 

Is the COVID-19 infection rate slowing down? Is the two-faced, double-standard of salons, restaurants and small businesses being shut down, while Big Hollywood and state officials can proceed as always, infuriating enough voters considering the Newsom recall to influence the decision. 

By the way, here's another stat: California still ranks dead LAST in administering COVID-19 vaccines.

So, all the talk of getting Amazon to deliver the vaccines won't do a doggone thing if those vaccines just don't make into Californians' arms and shoulders ASAP.

1) A few scientific issues, here--one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, by their own studies, gives approximately 50% immunity to COVID-19. One dose of the Moderna vaccine, by their own studies, gives approximately 80% immunity to COVID-19.

One way or another, we won't KNOW if any one person is immune or not until BOTH vaccine doses are done, and 14 days have passed after that second dose. So, we just CANNOT play games with the number of people getting immunized with any dosing schedule...we have to make sure that those currently being vaccinated are done so as approved by the FDA.

2) Another key fact is that Moderna's studies to date suggest that Moderna's vaccine (involving mRNA technology) is protective and effective against new variants of COVID-19.

The same holds true with Pfizer's vaccine because vaccination against mRNA of any given virus is the most likely way the being "covered" against inevitable viral mutations. 

3) Call me whatever name you want, but increased allergic responses to the Moderna vaccine, so long as it's within the first 15-60 minutes, isn't a problem provided that the allergy isn't too severe. Just don't leave until an hour has passed--get immunized!!!

Certain batches of Moderna's vaccine must be tossed if there is a reaction too great to reliably mitigate. Hence the idea of "speeding production" of our vaccines is ridiculous--cells and organic growth factors are too slow and prone to contamination to just throw them out like inorganic widgets. 

Speed and hastiness can lead to waste and an overall slowdown of our necessary vaccination process.

4) There are new vaccines that will arrive in the spring/summer of this year, allowing for a new wave of potential vaccinations to the general population...but otherwise, I fear that many of you reading this, as horrified as you and I are to confronting this, might not be immunized until the late summer or fall...or later. 

This possibility terrifies me as the virus continues to cause more deaths and disabilities (remember, surviving it does NOT let you off the hook with respect to permanent lung, neurologic, and/or vascular damage). 

But back to Governor Newsom, whose ridiculous policies of shutting down outdoor dining probably caused more Californians with "pandemic fatigue" to respond and react. For those political hacks who love hacking, Trump is out of office--open up the goddamn economy. No double standards! No unnecessary policies like shutting down outdoor businesses complying with safety measures, and no STUPID curfews!

The issue here is saving lives and/our economy and/our psychological well-being--not addressing this sufficiently brought down former President Trump and will make President Biden's life a living hell if he doesn't come through. 

And ditto for Newsom, whose antics and double standards have rightfully antagonized and outraged many a Californian. He did well in the spring of 2020 but has consistently screwed up since then.

A potential Newsom recall isn't the issue--it's recalling and recovering our economy and way of life. 

Because this pandemic has to be overcome and has to be overcome the right way. 

And Governor Newsom to date has had less than stellar results--California cannot afford that anymore. 


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.).