Monday, January 25, 2021

It's Okay to Steal... Just This One Time

 Well, well, well... It's been an interesting time, this "season" of Covid-19:  working from home, staying home, mask wearing, no touching, no gathering, no stealing??? Well, there seems to be an exception to the stealing part, at least for a certain individual of a certain "privilege."

According to news sources, Harris County doctor Hasan Gokal, took a vial containing 9 doses of the Moderna vaccine home and vaccinated family and friends.  Family and friends who, reportedly, were not priority candidates for the shot. The doctor allegedly told a colleague, who then reported him. He was fired and arrested for theft as a public servant and faced up to a year in jail. Of course, Dr. Gokal lawyered up and his lawyer had a great explanation ready because it was only one little vial.  

So, what had happened was... According to his attorney, it was the end of the day, and it was leftover vaccine that would have expired in the next six hours anyway.  It was reported that the good doctor offered the leftover vaccine to police and other healthcare workers who were onsite. They refused it because they had already been vaccinated. She said he called his supervisor to see if there were other available patients, and when there apparently were none, he proceeded to take it with him, off premise, after which he supposedly "used contacts in his cellphone" to find candidates to administer those nine doses... to "eligible recipients", with the last one going to his "chronically ill wife." Another source reported that those vaccines were given to his close family and friends. Who else would you have in your phone contacts who might want the vaccine; certainly not wait-listed people who have been waiting for days to weeks for it.

Okay... I'm a bit lost on this. First off, there are numerous reports of waitlists and people with appointments being turned away for the vaccine because of such high demand in the Houston area. Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be enough for demand in the area where the good doctor had this "surplus" vaccines. His attorney asserted that the vaccines would have gone to waste if the good doctor would not have taken that vial to administer it to the people he administered it to. But, to his defense (and I say that loosely) it is reported that he "entered all of the recipients into the State's database THE FOLLOWING DAY, as required." So, he followed rules or was he just covering his... self.

And in breaking news today: a judge DISMISSED those charges and admonished the State for "attempts.. to criminalize a doctor's documented administration of vaccine during a public health emergency" and further criticized the prosecutor's affidavit saying that it was "riddled with sloppiness and errors." WOW! So, the good doctor won't be charged, his attorney is demanding an apology and getting ready to sue AND 9 people got to questionably jump the vaccine line! It's all working out for him in the end.

Sooo what kind of example are we setting for our kids. So where to we draw the line? There are people in prison for long periods of time for stealing because they and/or their children were truly hungry or in need. There are people who have committed lesser indiscretions and are spending close to life in prison. It seems like it all boils down to one thing:  money and privilege.  The lines of the ruler of morals is pretty much a sliding scale when it comes down to money and privilege. Standards double and the rules get to change as you go or they change to match that privilege. That was so blatantly demonstrated on January 6. As I watch these instances and shake my head, one thing I know for sure: each individual will have to answer for their deeds. Because we, as humans have free will, we have the choice to do what is right or what is wrong. And no matter the "reasons" we come up with for not doing the right thing, deep down inside, we know.  

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