In part four of four in the podcast series, "COVID Pandemic: Inside Stories," Valley pharmacist James Thomas speaks with long-time Valley journalists and hosts of the Scribbler Group podcast, Bertram de Souza and Cynthia Rickard about the toll the pandemic has taken on him and his colleagues, and the impact on patients and their families. Thomas also shares some of the most frequently stated reasons people have not chosen to be vaccinated against the disease – ranging from fear of side effects to conspiracy theories. 

Thomas said that the vaccine may cause some short-term discomforts - ranging from fever, pain, body aches, chills, or possibly soreness from the needle. In contrast, he stated that the fear that should be discussed is how paralyzing agents are used if someone is hospitalized and needs a tracheotomy to assist with breathing and the reality of what is happening to individuals who enter the ICU with covid.

"We live in a time where we have less fear of disease, and we're at a point now that we need to start talking about fact that these can kill you," Thomas said. Thomas shares emotional stories of how he has pleaded with vulnerable patients to get the vaccine, only to later learn of the patient's death from covid at a later date.



Thomas also discusses the best options for a healthy immune system — including taking zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, however, he notes that these vitamins are not a "magical shield" that prevents you from getting covid. Thomas also discusses why people should not try any unproven 'remedies' except those given to them by their physician. 

Part four rounds out the varying perspectives on covid — one from a doctor, one from a nurse, one from a patient awaiting a much-needed transplant — waiting for the hospital to be able to have a bed for him to recover in, and a pharmacist. All the podcasts in this series can be found on de Souza's YouTube or Facebook page.