One year of

Remarkably, yesterday was my 366th blog post on this site. I started a year ago as a way to provide information to the many friends and colleagues who were asking me questions about pandemics, therapeutics, and vaccines. It turned out to be a useful source of information for an impressive number of people and a bit more of an effort than I ever could have imagined. 

At the beginning I jokingly suggested that I was being an optimist by only paying to register the site and name for a single year. I have renewed the site for a second year, but truly hope that well short of that time widespread vaccination of the population will make the COVID-19 pandemic a thing of the past. This doesn’t mean we won’t have to deal with this infection in the future, but I believe it will become more of a controlled problem like some of the enteric viruses and mild flu outbreaks. 

Medically, I’ve been most surprised by two issues in the past year. The first was the success of the RNA based COVID-19 vaccines. The speed with which they were developed and the incredible efficacy were beyond anything I could have hoped. These are truly the reasons that we will be able to move beyond this pandemic and return to normal life. 

I was also shocked by the failure to find any really effective therapies (other than steroids). Remdesivir has some benefit and the monoclonal therapies are finally beginning to look like they can impact ill patients, but for the most part I truly believed that effective therapies would happen long before vaccines. The failure to develop therapies is the central reason for most of the deaths seen in the United States.  

I plan to continue publishing posts as warranted, pointing out misinformation, or explaining scientific issues in a way that everyone can understand. Because I don’t feel a need to simply talk to folks, I’m not going to commit to publishing everyday anymore. For sure, however, you will understand that when I do publish, it is something worth your time and worth reading. 

I need to thank once again Judy Malcolm, who has served as my editor, and Melissa Rennells who provided excellent support in organizing the site. I also want to thank the many people who provided input and feedback, almost all of it being positive and helpful. 

I am in a better place!

I have always felt that this is not my personal site but a place for everyone who is truly looking for answers. If I were most disheartened by anything during the past year it was the remarkable amount of misinformation and politicization of what should have been purely a medical and public health issue. If helped clarify what was important in the pandemic, then it was a valuable effort. Biscuit would be proud!

Please get vaccinated so we can look forward to a time in 2021 when we can all interact normally again. 

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

44 thoughts on “One year of

  1. Kudos on a job well done. Your site allowed me to refute the mountains of misinformation my colleagues heard everyday in the media and in the “nail shop/barbershop “ when they were reopened. I get my 2nd Pfizer shot Saturday and am looking forward to a hopefully mask free wedding here in Florida in May.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Dr. Baker. Your blog has been invaluable. I will continue to follow until the end. So sorry about Biscuit. I’m afraid my poor fellow will meet up with him soon. Looks like they could be good friends.

    A. Engel

    On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 3:33 PM Pandemic Pondering wrote:

    > jbakerjrblog posted: ” Remarkably, yesterday was my 366th blog post on > this site. I started a year ago as a way to provide > information to the many friends and colleagues who were asking me questions > about pandemics, therapeutics, and vaccines. It turned o” >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jim,
    Thank you for all the effort and the great information during this past year! I have found your perspective extremely helpful, and appreciated the factual, scientific, principled stance you took to selecting, explaining and sharing valuable information.
    Having taken my first trip post vaccination after a year hiatus, I’m very aware that things are improving but not back to normal. I look forward to reading your posts as we move through the next stages of this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Jim: Thanks so much for your dedication to keeping us all well informed! I look forward to your continuing insight (if not every day)! Best, Rob Todd

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim-
    Thank you so much for these posts. You have clarified so much information (and misinformation) in the press and other media outlets and have guided us through these difficult times.
    Your efforts and expertise are greatly appreciated!
    We are due for our second Moderna injection on the 23rd. We look forward to life getting back to normal!
    Thanks again!
    Tom and Bev Corbett

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you and thank you to your friend and former colleague Walt Harrison for sharing this blog. I am in the vaccine business and I have appreciated your expertise, your balanced delivery and you honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was a great help to me during this difficult time and I am very grateful to you for the clarity of your thinking, your medical experience and your kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim, on behalf of all of us who have learned so much from your blog posts, I thank you for keeping us all informed and sane during this year of living dangerously. You have not only educated us all, and pointed out much of the misinformation being promulgated by the mass media, but you have educated us in understanding a pandemic, immunology, and the science underlying vaccines. You have been the one true voice amidst the cacophony of craziness. Thanks for that. You guided us all through a very, very difficult year. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jim, Thank you so very much for clarifying over the past year the “scientific” part of Covid- without any political influence. You have helped many of us during a difficult time… Yes please continue to keep us posted on anything important for us to know!! May God bless you and biscuit both!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A most valuable effort on your part, Jim Baker. Kudos to you for a remarkably informative blog. I learned a great deal, just what a semi-retired 90 year old Allergist Immunologist needs.Many thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dr. Baker,

    I echo the sentiments of the the others in expressing my sincerest appreciation for, in effect, you telling us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. After only a very short time of reading your posts, about a week after you started to post them, it was clear that what i would read I could trust and rely on.

    The ripple effect – each one of your readers sharing your clear and concise information with those they interact with – may be larger than you can imagine. You made my life better this past year as well as the lives of those I interact with, I thank you for your efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dr. Baker thank you for your leadership and clarity on this pandemic. I hope you will continue to bring us your thoughts moving forward! I so look forward to your posts and guidance!
    Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you. I often point friends & family to your blog for as an example of unbiased scientific information during this pandemic. Today I start another temp vaccinator job for 3 months. Hopefully, the mass vaccination site can be shut down before the end of June.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dr. Baker – thank you very much for this blog. It has been incredibly valuable to me and my ability to help make decisions for family, friends and my co-workers. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Relied on your posts as my primary source for logic and science this past year. My immense gratitude for the time and effort it takes to provide your insights to myself and others in these communications.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank so much for your cogent and enlightening articles; I truly appreciate your common sense and down to earth comments and I am glad that you are going to continue. Kudos to you

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dr. Baker,
    Thank you so much for all your pondering!! You have provided a wonderful resource that was trusted, medically and scientifically sound, and easy to understand. My husband and I have read every post and shared the site with family and friends. I know this has required a tremendous amount of work and dedication from you. For us, it was a great source of information and a beacon of light in a troubling time. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for the time and effort you have put into this blog. I looked forward to reading it daily and sent many people the link. Such a great way to cut through all the noise. My husband and I got our 2nd Moderna shots last week and we are looking forward to the 2 week mark where we will celebrate by going to an indoor restaurant for the first time in a year. In the best possible way, I look forward to the day when you can quit writing your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for all your hard work and the help that you’ve given all of us in understanding many of the scientific aspects of the pandemic. You’ve been a truly valuable resource in this day and age of misinformation.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks for your informative Pandemic Pondering. I won’t miss the pandemic but am grateful to have had real time common sense updates from you. My family members with whom I have shared your insights are also grateful.
    I am a 1964 graduate of the Medical School and hope to attend the 2024 reunion and maybe cross paths with you in Ann Arbor then.

    PS Biscuit would be proud!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks so much for the time and energy that you have put into this blog. Its been my first stop for information on COVID and has helped me better understand what has been happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank YOU, Jim, for the amount of time and effort you’ve extended to all of us “pandemic pondering blog followers” over the last year! You’ve successfully generated a resource of information and insight that we could trust and rely on for the latest developments in Covid research. Many thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

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