Should Everyone Get Vaccinated


We all know the story: Responsible Al who never misses a day comes into the office sneezing and coughing. We offer Al a cough drop and tissue paper, hold our noses and hope Al doesn’t make us sick. But he does. Later that night, we start to have the same cough and before you know it, we are debating if we are going to pull an Al and come to work the next day. Saturday is the day we must go and visit our mother-in-law in the nursing home….


We are always rushed in the morning, and our eight-year-old is complaining they are not feeling well. With the carpool, 9:00am meeting, and no one available for a last-minute baby-sitting favor, we are forced to send the child to school. Unknowing, in the carpool ride home, your child is with another youngster’s sibling who has an immune deficiency. With the windows rolled up and everyone singing the latest pop chorus jingle, soon everyone in the car has the infection.


Another scenario: you are not feeling your greatest, but you promised a group of friends that this time you were not going to flake on drinks. You take a couple of Tylenols and an hour later, you are at the bar, hoping the gin and tonic will be an excuse for your red eyes. You are laughing and hugging, and by the end of the night, you feel one hundred but notice your friend now has that same sneeze you woke up with.

Sound familiar? Life happens all the time, but that does not make us bad parents, irresponsible co-workers, or a bad friend. What if this time, it is more than a cold? What if the bad cough, congestion, or fever are more than just a cold or the flu. What if in our post-2020 world, this is COVID or a new variant. Have we done the right thing by avoiding a vaccination? Yes, we are ok, but what about those around us who are not as lucky.

 In 2019, there were 22,000 reported deaths from the flu in the United States (CDC.GOV). In 2020, there were over 360,000 deaths due to COVID-19 the numbers tell the story of just how important this vaccination may be.  


Dane Flanigan

CEO ultraHealth Agency

A Chat with My Therapist

by Callum Lee

Like many Generation Z’ers with emotional baggage, I see a therapist on the regular. It’s not like one of those movie scenes, where I’m sitting on a straight-backed leather couch or lying on an uncomfortable settee and my therapist is across from me, rapidly scratching out notes. We meet on Zoom these days, her at her office and me from the comfort of my home, and I just rant. For however much I pay her, I feel pretty comfortable spilling out all my deepest, darkest secrets, but it’s more than just that. I’ve been seeing her since my first year of college when I was a disordered mess of panic and rage, and she’s seen how I’ve grown out of that persona. She’s been with me through all the housekeeping, but I don’t know much about her.

So, when I was tasked to write about a healthcare professional, I thought about her. Why send cordial emails to a doctor I barely speak to (I rarely see my primary physician), when I could just shoot my therapist a text? Seeing the person I interviewed on the semi-regular made it a lot easier to ask questions, the first of which being; “What do you do and why do you do it?”

She’s a licensed psychologist that specializes with families, children, couples and gender and non-binary people. As for the why, she expressed an interest in psychology in high school, when she had the opportunity to take classes at the nearby university of Cal Poly Pomona. During her undergrad at UCSD, she wanted to pursue veterinary practices, but decided the exact sciences of chemistry weren’t for her. She then switched to psychology, which was when her cousin was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental disorder that affects a person’s ability to think. This diagnosis motivated her to research with a psychologist studying schizophrenia and health, where she fell in love with research and decided to pursue a PhD.

It’s been a long journey ever since of working with different practices, and when I asked her why specifically she decided to cater to LGBTQ+ clients, she had this to say.

“I had a friend that began to identify as transgender while we were in a faith community. The community indirectly did not feel safe for my friend and they were struggling with their mental health and living situation. They lived with us for a couple years.”
Over the call, I can hear her voice struggle with emotions when she exclaims: “The tears, the snot on my shirt and my shoulders are always there, and it always reminds me and gives me a deep well of empathy for gender and non-binary people.” When it comes down to it, there’s no better reason to be a therapist, and I can tell she takes pride in what she does. She’s been changing lives like mine ever since.

Homecare Will Change Moving Forward

Home health has been here long before what we now know as modern medicine. Even before there were organized hospitals, medicine people of the town / village were making house calls for the sick and delivering babies. Let us define the 21st century vocabulary of home health: Home health is or maybe was defined as “Care in a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home.”  Medicare.Gov. The home healthcare provider is a practitioner who checks on a person’s welfare daily, weekly or a few times a month with a myriad of services that range from medication, physical therapy to helping with daily functions like bathing. These services have changed the way we think of healthcare in the modern age. The discussion on changing healthcare always starts with affordability and ends with access. Let us talk about how that access has changed via technology which may play a key role in increasing affordability.

Now that we are in the pandemic period of COVID-19, new information on using technology and revitalizing home services is key.  Just like food delivery services have been around for generations, the pandemic has forced us to rely on these services more. Thus, more delivery services are faster and easier. What was once viewed as a  convenience became a transport of necessity that changed personal habits, public perception, and an increase in investment in new technology.

In addition, the pandemic has fostered awareness of telehealth services since in March and April of 2020, most hospitals decided to limit the entry of non-emergency patients to stop the spread of the virus and conserve resources.  People who needed to check in with their practitioners had to think of other ways to communicate face to face. As corporations hopped on screen calls, schools had kids logging onto the web for class, telehealth became the access point for medical professionals for a one-one dialogue. In addition, care facilities started to increase the technical aptitude both for the infrastructure and the staff.

 At the University of Wisconsin Health, Dr. Pete Newcomer, Chief Medical Officer,  states that telehealth was “minimal” before the pandemic but now  he sees it at 30% of patient visits.   The demand for people to converse has not changed, but the method of communication has transformed how it is viewed and distributed to the market.  With the Biden Administration’s new plans for a $400 billion investment into “home – or community-based care”, there is going to be more discussion about access, communication and how technology will be at the forefront. Let’s start a new definition – one defined by people, structured in communication and lives in health.

By Dane Flanigan

CEO ultraHealth Agency

Pandemic Life of a Soon to Be College Graduate

by Callum Lee


            One of the worst things about the pandemic is that I’ve got too much time to think, about my career, my life, my relationships. All the after-college crap that I’ve got to deal with that’s just looming on the horizon, super pressing and urgent since I’m about to graduate in a couple months. I’ve never really known what I wanted to do with my life, mostly because in high school, everything just seemed so clear cut. If you were good at science, you decided on doctor. If you were good at sports, kinesiology. Anything else, like history, art, English, you had to be a teacher. Because what else could you do with those social science and arts degrees? Even now, staring down the end of my education, I can’t say the path is any clearer to me, but I guess I’ve narrowed things down.

            I know I’m interested in publishing books, working with writers, making books and that sort of stuff. I like being close to that creative vein, close to the words and inspiration from being around like-minded individuals. And my uncle also mentioned copywriting for companies, how it’s a solid job. It sounds like a lot of desk work, but whatever makes money, right? Whatever helps me move out of the house? I applied for the internship at the company he works at, so hopefully that’ll pan out.


            So, it didn’t work out. I got an email from the internship, letting me know that I didn’t get it. I know I should be used to it: I’m 21 years old and I’ve only had 2 jobs in my life and neither lasted long (due to the company closing or COVID-19). At least they sent a consolation email, to let me know that it’s not them, it’s me, but good luck on your future endeavors anyway. I think it stings a little more because compared to my engineering friends and business friends who already have jobs lined up after grad, I’m lagging behind. And there’s nobody to blame but myself, for not applying to internships earlier or not having enough experience because I’ve only had two jobs in my life. I know I’ve been privileged, lucky enough to take it easy during college and not have to work in order to attend.

            In theory, my life shouldn’t be hard. I breezed through high school, through college with decent grades. My parents paid for my college tuition and my rent and my groceries up until third year, when I got a real job. I know I can move back home after graduation, so there’s no life-or-death urgency to getting a job. But I also know I’m always hard on myself. What’s going on externally shows nothing about what’s happening internally, which is where all my hard work and conflicts and struggles have been. Mentally, I’ve always been strong, determined, willful. But now, I want to be ambitious. I want to apply that drive towards my future. I can still change.

It’s not too late.

Do we have enough for everyone?

Should the United States pay for the world’s Covid vaccine.

Quintus Horatius Flaccus The Philosopher Horace:

 “Nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.” It is your concern when your neighbor’s wall is on fire.

Talking with friends and family in different countries, I was surprised to hear how many have not yet received a COVID vaccine, yet we are still facing a global pandemic. As Americans, we tend to think of things as if on a unilateral, English-speaking globe… but that is not the world. It is made up of millions, no sorry, billions of people in different countries and continents who have different languages, cultures, and governments.

There will be an argument over licensing and distributing the vaccine to other countries. Viewing the stock prices of J&J, Moderna, and Pfizer, they are all doing well, and there is the prevailing economic issue of who paid for the vaccine to be researched, tested, and produced?  In the December 20th issue of Forbes appeared an article, “The People’s Vaccine—Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Was Largely Funded By Taxpayer Dollars.”  So Americans paid for it…but, again, this problem is larger than just one country.

In 2019, international travelers spent $155 billion as reported by That means billions of dollars flowing into the United States and thousands of jobs created. We also have states that rely heavily on foreign investment with California, Florida and New York at the top of the list. What will happen if these visitors stop coming to the United States or stop traveling all together? When they do travel here, will they bring other variants of the virus?

According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, “Based on our most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the B.1.1.7 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the United States.” What if that impacts our herd immunity? Regrettably, there could be other variants generating in other parts of the world that could be even more threating, and we need to think about stopping that now.

People are people no matter where they go from Lexington, Kentucky to Abuja, Nigeria to Ahvaz, Iran. It is amazingly simple to say that people matter – because they do. It should not matter how the vaccinations were produced or who paid for them. We could all be affected by the inaction to non-action of people during the pandemic.

To circle back to the statement by Horacio, as citizens of the globe, we have to think of other countries as our neighbors and do our best to bring this global pandemic to an end.  If our neighbor’s house burns, it should be everyone’s concern.

By Dane Flanigan