“Oh, my!” exclaimed the woman, dropping the phone hurriedly.
Her husband looked over the edge of his morning cup of coffee, and asked, “What is it dear?”
“It’s the drug store,” the woman sobbed. “The pharmacist just insulted me terribly!”
Infuriated, the husband stormed out of the house, and drove downtown to confront the druggist to demand an apology. Before he could say more than a few words, the pharmacist stopped him. “Please, sir, let me tell you my side of the story.”
“This morning, the alarm clock failed to go off, so I was running late. I skipped breakfast and hur-ried out to the car, only to realize that I locked the house with the keys still inside. Then, as I was hurrying to the store, a policeman pulled me over, and gave me a speeding ticket. When I was about two blocks away, my car had a flat tire.
Finally, I got here, but there was a long line of people waiting for me to open up. I opened the store, and started waiting on people, and –– the whole time –– the damn phone was ringing off the hook.
He continued, “Then I had to break a roll of nickels to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I scrambled on my hands and knees to pick up the nickels, and the phone was still ringing.
When I raised up, I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which caused me to stagger back into a showcase full of perfume bottles, causing them all to hit the floor and break.
Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up. I finally answered the phone, and it was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer –– and believe me, sir, as God is my witness –– all I did was tell her.”

Once again, our politicians have failed to take full measure of our collective frustration. We are being blamed for a worsening reluctance to take a new, unproven coronavirus vaccine, which seems just over the horizon.
Ignore the fact that that horizon keeps moving further away.
This week, the Pew Research Center announced the findings of a national survey, which indi-cate that fewer Americans are willing to take a federally approved COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes available.
According to the research, fifty-one percent (51%) of adults say they would definitely or probably get a vaccination, if it were available today. Forty-nine percent (49%) say they definitely or prob-ably would not get vaccinated now. These are worsening numbers, down twenty-one percent (21%) from a similar study in May.
Despite assurances that a vaccine will meet “rigorous standards” when approved, seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents are concerned that the rush to engineer a vaccine has compro-mised safety.
Americans are skeptical, and why shouldn’t we be?
We know that all pharmaceuticals have side effects. In fact, nearly every family has personal stories of adverse reactions to medicines.
In my family, for instance, my Mother had an allergic reaction to the contrasting agent during a heart catheterization, and spent the last twelve years of her life in chronic renal failure. Dad’s lungs were damaged by a pharmaceutical used to treat his rheumatoid arthritis, costing him at least a couple of remaining years. My brother arouses slowly from anesthesia, and heck, even my dog, Sweetie, experiences seizures upon taking some preventative medications.
There is no reason to believe there won’t be negative outcomes for some people taking the vac-cine.
But instead of acknowledging our fears, battle lines are forming, with some officials accusing Americans of being Anti-Vax (fearful that all vaccines are harmful) or Anti-Pharma (a disdain for large drug companies).
The real issue, however, is that we don’t believe much of what our leaders — on both sides of the aisle — are saying about the virus.
Mask versus don’t mask. Open up, don’t open up. Masks better than a vaccine. Masks while getting hairdos. In their hubris and haste to impress us with their response to the crisis, both sides –– like our druggist above –– have insulted the very people they serve.
We find it hard to believe you anymore. You describe us as being obstinate, ill-informed, or just plain stupid, when in reality Americans are doing what they do best: Thinking for themselves. 
Until our government gives us reasons to trust them again, very few of us are willing to give this initial vaccination a legitimate shot. 

John O. Marlowe is an award-winning columnist for Sagamore News Media.