Do you want to be vaccinated but can’t even get an appointment?
As we hear about friends or neighbors who are the same age as we are and in the same priority group getting vaccinated before us, it can feel like we’re in a competition and losing, or we’re repeatedly doing something wrong. Because potential relief is so close, we can feel the threats of the virus even more strongly.
We had grown almost used to wearing a mask. It had become weirdly “normal” to stay home or stay at a distance from anyone not in our pod, and to think of other humans as potential carriers of an infection that might kill us if we didn’t take precautions, including washing immediately after leaving their presence. For many of us, a compulsion to wash our hands has become a life-saving aptitude.
But now there’s a vaccine. Not a cure, but a preventive measure that could protect us from getting sick or dying. Or protect us from some of the strains of the virus. We had grown accustomed to the restraints. Now, the wounds are raw once again.
And the new strains add another level to the threat, another unknown. Who knows if the preventive measures we have used in the past will protect us in the future?
Last week, I spent hours trying to get a reservation for an appointment. I have spent more time on getting a reservation for a vaccine than I would have, in pre-COVID days, spent on planning a vacation.
I was on the website for a local pharmacy for hours and was so excited when I finally found an open appointment. I had just finished filling out the online form and had pressed submit, only to then be informed that the time slot was no longer available.
Then my wife and I were able to reserve a time slot at a state-run venue. After doing so, my wife received a recorded message on her phone saying she wasn’t eligible for the vaccine. We are the same age and in the same priority group. We answered all their eligibility questions to their satisfaction⎼ or so it seemed. Now, we will have to call to object or keep on searching for new appointments.
How many of us are experiencing the same frustration?
It would be easy to try to blame someone. But who do we blame? Biden has been president for less than two weeks. DT and his administration totally mismanaged the pandemic for a year or more. They put our lives at risk, often refused to take any responsibility for the pandemic. They undermined this nation in a great variety of ways as well as undermining the incoming administration, so it is DT and his followers who we would blame.
DT held up even recognizing that Biden won the election. DT incited violent attacks to stop Congress from certifying that America had voted by a margin of over 7 million people to kick him out of office. His administration refused to allow Biden to get security briefings until late in the game, which included briefings on the virus. DT continuously lied about the virus, cures, the importance of masks, student and worker safety.
Despite Operation Warp Speed, his administration mismanaged, and even interfered with centralized planning for the distribution of the vaccine. An article in the New York Times reveals that a 223-page report was issued last Wednesday by the Office of Special Counsel. The report found that the DT Department of Health and Human Services diverted millions of taxpayer dollars that were intended to finance vaccine research and pandemic preparedness and put it into other government activities. They also failed to inform Congress of this fact — a potential violation of federal law.
Accountability, yes. Simply blame, no. This is only one of many potential crimes, misdemeanors, and malignant acts for which the previous president must be held accountable.
It’s difficult to be patient when our lives are at stake, but I hope we ⎼ I ⎼ can do just that. President Biden, in contrast to his predecessor, is assuming responsibility and taking action. It’s so reassuring to finally see an administration act with care guided by scientific reasoning.
And instead of focusing on who was already vaccinated, let’s think about all those who weren’t yet able to do so. Maybe we can turn our frustration into added energy to stay safe, and to treat ourselves and all the people we meet in the same situation as we are in with care and understanding ⎼ and remember to demand from all administrations in the future that they treat us, as much as possible, with care and understanding.
This post is republished on Medium.
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