Dr. Turner is a graduate of Stanford University, Harvard Medical School, and The Mayo Clinic. He believed in vaccines. But he doesn’t anymore.
Losing My (Vaccine) Religion: A Doctor’s Journey From Hope to Despair.
The boy dreams. The dream captivates and challenges and engulfs him, drawing him forward in pursuit, while at times burdening him with more than he thinks he can bear.
He can’t. In his heart he knows that someone will need him someday, and he must be ready to serve with excellence and integrity.
The boy becomes a man, marries, and starts a family. He graduates from Harvard Medical School and The Mayo Clinic. The man becomes a doctor.
But has The Dream been fulfilled?
Act 1: Grief
I am a doctor with a troubled conscience.
I am a friend with a heavy heart.
January 2021: I am standing next to an open grave. Rays of sun cannot cheer the depths of pain and loss in my heart. The body of my dear friend, Bruce, is being lowered to its final resting place. Sobs from his eldest daughter fill the air.
Age 79 and dead from COVID. Just a few weeks earlier, we shared laughs and bear hugs over Thanksgiving dinner. “Doctor, what do you think of this virus?” was the topic of conversation across the table.
Bruce was a good man, a special man. The kind of guy who found a way to connect with everyone he met. He had the gift of gab and a way of interacting that made people feel accepted and valued. The fabric of humanity suffered a tear that day, and, as I marked the occasion, I couldn’t help but think -- dammit!, if he had just been able to hold out a few months until the vaccine arrived. It felt cosmically unjust -- like sinking under the waves just moments before the lifeguard arrived.
March 2021: vaccine arrival. I greet the news of the vaccine with all due medical and patriotic enthusiasm: a ray of hope (!) and a balm for the psyche of a country battered by the pandemic and political strife. Operation Warp speed had delivered the goods: cutting-edge technology poised to prime our bodies for the fight of our lives.
I dutifully rolled-up my sleeve and received my first Pfizer, repeating again six weeks later. No ill effects other than a bit of malaise and a sore deltoid for a few days. I was glad to have this available and recommended it far and wide to patients.