Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, January 23, 2021

A Vaccine Tale

 The front page the Orlando Sentinel, January 21, 2021:

Joe Biden, Jr., Dr. Jill Biden holding family bible, Kamala Harris below

And with the above, a great whoosh of relief swept the land, leaving Trump culters scratching their heads. (I understand many still believed right up to the moment above that Trump would triumph in his attempt to overthrow democracy.)

The Inauguration ceremony was a marvelous display of adept planning, uniformly intelligent and articulate speakers, outstanding performers, and all-around good will, a striking contrast to what we've endured these past four years. And capped by the  "Youth Poet Laureate," Amanda Gorman, who stole the show, not only with her poetry but as a representative of the youth of our great country. The "class" and smooth-running of the inaugural event bodes well for the competency of those now running our country. 

And now, a little light relief before moving on to Covid-19 . . .

After 3 days of fog at their rental in Gatlinburg, TN, where Susie & Mike took a short vacation, the clouds parted long enough for this photo


I have had cats all my life but I have never had one who created his own housing (playground?) with his teeth. Below, two pics of Ganesh, the photogenic feline:

A last-minute addition:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was photographed among all the glitterati at the Inauguration sitting on the stairs wearing mittens hand-made by a constituent who uses recycled materials. An enterprising college student turned the photo into a meme, which has now been placed against who-knows-how-many different backgrounds, providing loving amusement for all, as well as an example of American resiliency. We needed a bit of humor in a time of stress, and who better to provide it than a kindly gentleman who's twice run for President and whom almost everyone likes and respects, even if they don't all agree with his politics. Of the thousands of versions, I thought this one particularly clever.


And as a musician and choir member, I also loved this one:

 A Vaccine Tale

I received my first Covid vaccine shot (Pfizer) this week, plus an appointment for Shot #2. And in the process of doing so, I learned rather a lot about what my county is doing that seems to be working so much better than most other counties. (The long lines of seniors out on the sidewalk in the cold or lined up in their cars all night that have been shown on the news are absolutely appalling.) After my experience, I can only advise all county and state governments to look to Seminole for how it should be done. (The federal government as well, now that we have a President who gives a #$%^.) In short, after a few weeks of experimentation, Seminole County seems to have nailed it, and I'm going to attempt to summarize its efforts below.

 1. Many of the members of my choir (now a hand chimes group) are health care workers. They received their shots first, as expected.

2. Nursing Home roll-out was slower, some of it supposedly due to getting all permissions signed.

3. And then vaccinations turned to those "65 & older," and the fun began. Advent Health (a vast hospital service in Central Florida) sent an appointment sign-up to all its patients, but the site was at Orlando International Airport, a maze I gave up navigating even when I lived only a few miles away. Now that I'm older and more than 20 miles away . . . By the time I contacted my daughter about driving me, all appointments were gone. Sigh.

4. So I began to search my own county - Seminole. Not an easy job at first, but after a shaky start, they soon got their act together, resulting in:

    a.  a hot line (with a really easy number) which advised you to . . .

    b.  Text "Covid-19 info" to a six-digit code. That instantly put your name and cell phone on an Alert list to receive notification of the next batch of appointments at the Oviedo Mall right here in Seminole County.

5.  I had no sooner done this than my daughter called - she had been researching on my behalf, and by what she called "arrowing down to the bottom of the page," she actually talked to a live human being who signed me up for a "canceled" appointment only four days away. Wow!

6.  Meanwhile, the evening news said that Seminole County was in the process of expanding their site by moving to the old Sears building in the Oviedo Mall. Also . . .

7.  The county organized mobile units they were sending into parts of the county where residents were less mobile, such as Goldsboro in Sanford. They also sent units to senior retirement homes (not nursing homes), and even set up a special site to vaccinate teachers over 65.

8.  Meanwhile, I received a "ticket" for my appointment, an exact address for my GPS, and instructions on what ID to bring with me. Also instructions on when to arrive - not more than 10 minutes early.

9.  THE BIG DAY.  I've been close to home for so long that I allowed an extra 30 minutes for getting lost, taking my Kindle to pass the time while I sat in my car once I had the right door in my sights. (I was able to get a parking space within c. 30 feet of the entrance.)

10.  My ticket read:  3:00-3:30, so at about 12 minutes before 3 I joined the line outside the door (carefully socially distanced by stickers on the sidewalk).  There were perhaps a dozen people already in line. At somewhere around 5 before 3, we were asked:  "Are you all 3 o'clock?" An eager chorus of "Yes" and in we went.

11.  Inside, the vast empty space had been set up like an airport check-in, with black stanchions and bands delineating U-shaped aisles. The line moved rapidly to the first check-in—a show of my ticket and Florida driver's license. Then a young man (the only person I saw who looked bored) gave me a number. 

12.  On to a desk where I turned in my ticket, was given paperwork to fill out, and directed to an area of chairs (socially distanced) where I could fill out & sign the required info. I had barely scribbled my name, when my number was called, and I was escorted into another section of the vast space where an EMT was ready to give me my shot. Over and done in no time. BUT the "observation" time he put on my paperwork added up to 25 minutes when I'd expected 15! (Likely due to my advanced age, or maybe just his poor math.) 

13. OBSERVATION. So there I sat with nothing to do but look around at all the other people doing the same. (I had failed to remove my phone from its holder in the car. And I noted with interest only a few were checking their email or whatever. No one was chit-chatting, almost as if everyone recognized it would be an intrusion on the solemnity of the moment.)  During this time three EMTs sat at a desk facing us, occasionally talking with each other. There were no emergencies while I was there - I could only give thanks that the Powers That Be had provided help "just in case."

14.  When my "observation time was up, I went to the desk where people were making appointments for their second shots. And here I ran into the first glitch of the day. Just as it was my turn, they ran out of appointments. But no one told me, "Sayonara." Only "Wait a minute while we get more." When I mentioned that I didn't stand well, I was provided with a chair, and sure enough, in maybe as little as 5 minutes, someone came back saying the new appointments were being downloaded, and by the time she sat down, there they were, and I had my pick of new times.

15. Just to gild the lily, we were each presented with a sticker that read:  "I got the Covid-19 vaccine." (Talk about "organized"!)

If you've read this far, I believe you can see why I was impressed. But there's more. Throughout this process, each and every worker I encountered was smiling, friendly, and empathetic. A tour de force by the Seminole County health care system and Seminole County Emergency Management. Hats off. I salute you!  

~ * ~

 Book Two of the Matthew Wolfe series, tentatively titled Matthew Wolfe - The Adventures Begin, is on the home stretch. Hint: our hero is now in his early 20s, with a mistress a decade older than he is, and shocked to discover his young friend from Kent is old enough to have a London "Season." For a little light relief during these stressful times, please check out Book One, The Making of Matthew Wolfe.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Amazon,  click here.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Smashwords, click here.

 You will also find background details on the Who, What, Where, When, & Why of Matthew Wolfe on my Facebook Author Page.

For a link to Blair's Facebook Author Page, click here.

 For Blair's website, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace/Blair Bancroft 

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