Vaccines and Shirt Pocket Flap Puckers

This morning I put on my shirt and noticed the pocket flap puckers for the umpteenth time. I also got a reminder about how difficult it is to keep fingernail clippings from zinging all over the bathroom. I did a quick web search and saw that both problems are perennial with no great solutions. There’s an eerie resemblance to the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy challenges.

One author says the shirt pocket flap pucker problem (say that three times quickly right now!) is caused by shirt manufacturers who fail to hem correctly and by shirt wearers who fail to properly launder them. Various solutions to the nail clipping problem involves innovative modifications to clipper design and other ingenious suggestions you can try yourself, including clipping with your digits inside a sandwich bag to catch the flying parings.

In other words, there are system changes and user changes, which seems to apply to the vaccines as well. For example, there are some researchers investigating the use of intranasal immunization. This has a few advantages, including maybe helping those who are afraid of needles, which is a population probably bigger than we think.

There are systems advantages as well as challenges to the intranasal route. It capitalizes on the IgA immunity cells in the nasal mucosa, which could help prevent travel of the virus to the lungs. The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics research team has found that this works in mice. On the other hand, other researchers are abandoning the approach because they haven’t had success in early human trials. And the vaccine injections are highly effective by comparison. Side effects of the intranasal might include more than just wanting to make you sneeze. Although you could cover your nose with a sandwich bag or maybe pinch your nostrils shut with a pair of nail clippers (but what to do with the nostril parings?). Some raise concerns about how close you get to the brain. There was a reported case of Bell’s Palsy after an intranasal influenza vaccination in 2002. Incidentally, the likelihood of getting Bell’s Palsy after the COVID-19 jab is less than getting it from the virus infection itself (MedPage Today report June 2021).

Congress could pass laws preventing shirt manufacturers from making them with pocket flaps in the first place. After all, what pickpocket would be bold enough to try to pick your shirt pocket, assuming you buttoned it? Or the President could write an executive order mandating the owners of shirts with pocket flaps launder them properly, or at least iron them. There could be a door-to-door campaign to distribute innovative nail clippers, or offer free pedicure and manicure services (only after full licensing, of course).

Well, anytime you need my innovative suggestions you can always choose to opt out.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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