I enjoy running to work at Upham’s Corner Health Center, and my route takes me across Boston’s Franklin Park, which straddles Jamaica Plain and Dorchester. First I jog through a forest, and then I run along next to a golf course for about a mile.
I’m always on the lookout for anything interesting, and a couple of weeks ago that was an enormous flock of geese. They soared and banked above me in formation, then gradually descended together and landed on the fairway. There was a little bit of squawking but not so much.
I’ve thought a lot about those geese recently. They seemed so graceful in flight, so disciplined. And I imagine their lives are difficult. Probably there is a lack of food, and their ecosystems have been degraded. Yet they seem to stick together for the most part.
The geese remind me of people as we start 2022. America had a child tax credit to help families, but Congress let it expire during the Omicron surge. How will the end of that aid program affect our children, particularly those who are poor, immigrants, black, brown, or Latinx? Would geese treat their vulnerable goslings that way?
We need real leadership from President Joseph Biden as we start the new year, and sadly, I don’t think we are getting it. I voted for President Biden. I want him to succeed. But something is going on with the group of advisors surrounding him in the White House, NIH, CDC, FDA, etc. If the Franklin Park geese behaved the way the leaders in Washington DC are acting, they would have crashed into each other and fallen down onto the fairway.
Tensions are rising as we approach the anniversaries of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Riots. There are fears of violence, given our nation’s polarization and the ongoing threat from the former President Trump. What would the geese do? I suspect they would stick together as a group, and stop this self-destructive infighting.
Meanwhile, in the news, immunocompromised Americans are getting 4th and 5th immunizations with the mRNA vaccine. I haven’t seen any scientific evidence to back that up, and certainly no randomized controlled trial data. What ever happened to primum non nocere, first do no harm? Another way to state that is, “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.”
And yet I understand and empathize with their fear. They are at high risk of getting sick with COVID.
I could write more, about Dr Fauci’s recent argument that Americans should pay more attention to rising strain on hospitals rather than incident cases of Omicron. But I think I’m winding down this blog post.
Just remember the geese.
That’s all I have for today. If you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below. And remember, my blog is entirely free. Thanks, Phil