Publisher’s Words 2020 Nov Dec

Dr. Paul Thomas, MD is an open-minded think-outside-the-box type of pediatrician in Portland who listens to his patients and meets the patients where they are. For many years, he has been providing alternative vaccination schedules and options for families who do not want to be vaccinated or have had prior adverse reactions towards vaccination. He is not against vaccination, but is open to the possibility that vaccination may not be the only way to childhood health and that current vaccination schedules may not suit everyone.   Unfortunately, most health care systems do not reward free thinkers or people who do not fall within the status quo. Now Dr. Thomas’s practice is facing mounting challenges (some might say persecution) from the Oregon Health Authority, and he needs our help. To learn more about his situation and to lend your support, please go to:

With the approval of Pfizer’s & Moderna’s vaccines, many people are seeing the beginning to the end of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which no doubt has changed many aspects of our world.  I cannot help but think about what kind of a new world can we expect in the coming years? Below are just some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind:

1. Considering the number of people being laid off and businesses closed due to the lockdowns, and the billions of new debt the government has acquired in order to combat this virus and provide financial relief, how are we going to pay for it all? 

2. I have heard whispers of an “immunity passport” idea for those who have received COVID-19 vaccines.  Kids have been denied school entry without a record of full childhood vaccination in some places. I wonder  how might this “COVID-19 immunity passport “impact our lives, travel, schooling, jobs, etc. if it becomes a reality? How do people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection prove they have immunity?

3. What have we learned from this pandemic that can help us should another pandemic occur in the future? The world has never seen such severe lockdowns implemented in past pandemics/epidemics. Do the lockdowns actually help to curb the course of the pandemic? Are they worth the economical and collateral health care consequences?

4. Some experts had suggested that we should have put most of the effort and money into protecting the elderly, long-term care facilities, the vulnerable, and front line health care facilities & personnel while allowing the young and healthy (who have the lowest risk of dying from COVID-19) carry on with normal lives. The young and healthy would acquire natural immunity which would in turn protect the vulnerable populations. In time the vulnerables would acquire immunity via vaccination. Unfortunately, this idea was barely discussed/debated before it was squashed in most countries. I wonder, is there any merit to this idea?

I don’t have the answers and assume they will likely become obvious or be debated academically over the next few years. Still, there likely won’t be a consensus or a clear answer for the latter 2 questions. 

In some way, I am happy to see this tumultuous and difficult year come to an end. I sincerely hope 2021 will bring more peace, calm, and health to everyone. Wishing you all a warm and safe holiday season!

Martin Kwok, ND. DrTCM