VACCINE VACCINE VACCINE VACCINE VACCINE VACCINE
If finally happened. After all of those early mornings of keeping my eye on the little blue dot trying to book an appointment, at long last, I got my appointment. And it had nothing to do with the little blue dot.
I don't know how it works where you live, but here I was able to register on two different COVID vaccine appointment sites. One run by the county health department and the other set up by Publix, which is a huge grocery store/pharmacy chain. The Publix site was online and very easy other than the fact that anyone trying to get an appointment is chained to their computer, starring at that little blue dot (which I described in a post a few weeks ago) willing it to move from "waiting" to "book an appointment". The county health department site on the other hand, I registered online and then there was nothing more to do but wait until I got the call. Both methods required a lot of patience (which I'm not especially good at) and a lot of waiting (ditto). But what you gonna do?
I'm sure you already know this but Florida is a large state sooooo lots of people. And I'm pretty sure you also know that we have a disproportionately large percentage of seniors (although that is changing repaidly!). And since all of the medical experts declared that anyone over the age of 65 was at higher risk, our governor decided that the first group (after medical personnel and first responders) would be the 65+ group. That is a lot of people! So I knew it would be quite awhile before my number came up.
So I've been patient. Surprisingly. And honestly I thought that it would be more likely to get an appointment through Publix first. I was so wrong. Which, by the way, is not unprecendented. After spending my usual 45 minutes to an hour starring at the little blue dot on Friday morning with no appointment once again, I went about my day, fully prepared to begin dot-starring once more on Monday. But Friday afternoon I got the call from the health department. Woohoo!
It's an automated call and those mechanical voices are sometimes hard to understand. At least for me (I don't know about you) So I kept hitting the play again button on the phone and frantically made notes. But at the end, eureka! I HAD MY APPOINTMENT! Woohoo!
Which was on this past Sunday at 4:30 at the Venice Fairgrounds which is actually here on the island. (at our regional airport). It turns out that it was just me and 4,999 other people. And I'm not exaggerating for a change. They literally gave five thousand vaccines that day. Holy Cats!
It was a drive-through situation, so that was awesome. Didn't even have to get out of the car. It was so organized and efficient! I was very impressed! The National Guard was there to keep things rolling smoothly and so many nurses! Oh my Gracious! That many people gave up their Sunday to do one thing all day long, give vaccine injections. Bless their hearts.
They had people stationed a various points through the line to request different bits of information, after which they made mysterious notations on the car windshield with chalk paint pens. Each masked stop asked another question, which led to another notation, as we crept forward. Eventually we reached the actually vaccine stop and then nurse came around to my side of the car, I popped my arm up on the open window ledge and boom, shot. She was so good that I honestly did not even feel the needle go in. That is impressive!
I have had injections that felt like someone drove a nail in with a hammer, honest to god. I've returned from getting various shots with bruises, with red, raised, hot spots and I've required bandaids afterwards. This time, nothing. not a mark, not a single indication that I had just received a potentially life saving vaccine. Seriously impressed. (I will say though that the second day I could feel a tiny discomfort there, but it was no big deal and today, perfectly fine)
Then they gave me a card with the appointment for my second shot and made another notation on the windshield. We were starting to crack the code. By the time we left we had figured most of them out and working on it kept us entertained :) As directed, we drove up to another spot where we were made to wait for 15 minutes. At the end of that quarter hour, one of the National Guardsmen, approached and asked if I was feeling ok. I smile and said that I was fine, he wished me a good day and off we went.
The entire thing including the drive from home was a little over an hour. Not Bad. I've waited longer than that in doctor's waiting rooms for an appointment. 5,000 people! Wow! I am so impressed.
Hope however your state is working it all out, it is equally successful for all of you! And for those of you still waiting your turn, take heart. Eventually, apparently, your number really does come up!
First shot - Check!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.