"Doesn't he know about the tiny bad guys?"
This is the question a young child asked his mother when he saw an unmasked delivery man at their home. The child thought everyone knew about the tiny bad guys. They are invisible. They are everywhere when you are outside of your home. When they get inside of you, they can make you very sick. They get it in you very easily through your nose. That is why you are supposed to keep your nose and mouth covered. That is why you are supposed to wear a mask when you are outside of your home.
This child saw that I knew about the tiny bad guys. We all had our masks on and had washed our hands!
We talked excitedly today about the good news: there is now a way to stop the tiny bad guys! There is a new medicine that scientists have made that can stop the tiny bad guys from making you sick. That means one day it won't matter that the tiny bad guys are out there, because they won't be able to make you sick.
The bad news about the medicine to fight the tiny bad guys is that it is a shot, like the flu shot. And it is really 2 shots. The other bad news about the medicine shot to defeat the bad guys is that it is not ready to give to everybody yet. Right now, the shot is only for the people who are fighting the bad guys all of the time, and for the people who the tiny bad guys hurt the most.
These tiny bad guys hurt grown-ups much more than they hurt kids. That is because kids are small, too, and can fight the tiny bad guys better. Kids are used to fighting tiny bad guys, but grown-ups are not as good at that anymore. Some grown-ups, especially older grown-ups, have nearly forgotten how to fight tiny bad guys! The new medicine is going to help all of us learn how to fight the tiny bad guys!
Now remember, until we all get our special medicine to fight the tiny bad guys, we all need to wear our masks when we leave our homes. We need to try to be happy with staying at home instead of visiting friends and family. When we get around other people, we should stay far enough away that we cannot hug or touch each other, because we do not want the help the tiny bad guys get around.
One day soon, the tiny bad guys won't matter anymore. Things will be better!
For the adult reader, the tiny bad guys are COVID-19 virions and the medicine to fight them is a COVID-19 vaccine. No, we do not have COVID-19 vaccine yet at Mack Pediatrics. I promise, I will let you know.
Thank you for reading my tiny story. Art by my 10-year-old son.
---Emili Mack, MD