Adults want vaccines to be administered the way these awesome doctors give shots to kids

Unless you're an actual masochist, nobody likes being poked with needles. But some of us hate it a whole lot more than others. If you're of the "Eh, no big deal—just get the quick shot and be done with it" mindset, you're in good company. But if you're in the "I can't handle the idea of a needle coming anywhere near my flesh" camp, you're also in good company.

The fear of needles is called trypanophobia, and it's very common. In fact, according Advent Health in Tampa, Florida, a 2012 study of 800 parents and 1,000 children found that 24 percent of the parents and 63 percent of the kids had a fear of needles. And between 7 and 8 percent of those people described needle phobia as the top reason for avoiding getting vaccinations.

Some pediatricians have developed methods for giving little kids vaccines in a way that results in the least amount of trauma. Our kids' doctor has a flower-shaped plastic device with little bristles on it that they push onto the kid's skin, distributing the sensation as the needle goes in, for example. But some docs takes it to a whole other level.

Like this one:

Tapping the baby with the covered needle like a game makes the needle itself seem not scary. Then, distracting them with the quick poke and then something super fun right after—the bubbles—appears to be a winning strategy.

Here's a different baby with the same doc, same routine, and same result. You can definitely tell the babe has a "Whoa, wait a minute, what just happened?!" moment, but it's short-lived.

Doctor Distracts Baby During Vaccine Jab With Sweet Routine youtu.be

Another doc takes a similar approach with a toddler. This time, as the kiddo is a little older and more aware, the "Whoa, wait a minute" reaction comes with some verbal complaint. But the doctor knows just how to handle it, and it's incredible to see the immediate turnaround from a simple, silly tissue toss.

Baby laughing while getting shots www.youtube.com

Adults certainly don't want doctors to start throwing tissues in their faces after getting a vaccination shot, but there's something to be said for trying to make the process less frightening. By the time people are adults, the pain itself isn't so much the issue as the idea of the needle. The silly play with the needle before the injection is one example of how doctors help kids not see the needle itself as scary, and though adults might need a different approach than children, purposeful exposure is actually one of the key strategies to overcoming phobias.

Considering the fact that we're going to need a good percentage of Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine in order to return to non-distanced, non-masked normalcy, doing everything we can to help people overcome their fears of either the vaccine itself or the needles used to give them is important.

Also, considering this dumpster fire of a year, we could all use a little extra TLC. Maybe we can all take our burned out doctors a gift card or something when we ask them to sing a song while they give us our shots. Whatever it takes to get us through this home stretch of the pandemic with as little ongoing trauma as possible.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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