It’s so easy to point the finger.
It’s so easy to be racist.
But one day there will be a virus other than racism that originates from the United States. One that will make the entire world very sick.
And other countries will point their fingers.
And will call it the Americanflu or Amerivirus or whatever.
And Americans will be targeted with hatred. Some Americans more than others.
And then maybe, just maybe, we will learn.
In his speech the other night President Biden indicated that he wants every state to make their citizens “eligible” to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1.
As humans, we should all be considered “eligible” right now. Unfortunately in most states, including my own, just because you become “eligible” doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to get the vaccine any time soon. I’ve been “eligible” for the vaccine since February. And I haven’t been able to book myself an appointment for a vaccine anywhere.
Do I plan on having a big BBQ bash at my house on Independence Day? Hell no. I’ll be lucky if I’m even vaccinated by then. And even if I was, I still wouldn’t have a BBQ. To hell with that.
Will I be hugging anyone, as so many have said they’re going to just “hug everyone”. Why the fuck would I do that? I wasn’t a “hugger” before COVID-19 and the pandemic didn’t turn me into one. Christ, we’re still going to be wearing facemasks for the very foreseeable future. Why would I want to hug anyone if I’m wearing a facemask? Or even if I wasn’t?
A year ago today I physically left my work place, not knowing when I’d return.
I remember walking down the stairs to my car and thinking “damn, I left my coffee cup behind”. Every Friday I would bring my coffee cup home and clean it over the weekend. I wouldn’t see that cup again until December, when I visited the office and threw the cup away.
Aside from the one hour I was in the office back in December, I haven’t been there since. I’m unsure as to when I will, or if I will, physically go back. I had been working from home three days a week prior to the pandemic. I’ve enjoyed working from home. I’m saving myself almost two hours a day in commute time. I don’t feel as stressed as I was going into the office. There really isn’t anyone I miss, not that there’s many people there to miss anyway. I’m sure I will go back eventually in some way. But I think it will only be one day a week. Because I’ve discovered I can actually get more work done at home than I could in the office.
That day a year ago, upon arriving home, we received an email from the school superintendent indicating that school would be closed for a week. I figured we would be using that week as an early April vacation. That wasn’t the case. For the next sixty or so days my daughter would finish her schooling for the year from home, via computer. YouTube videos featuring her teachers overtook YouTube videos featuring YouTube stars. She actually did quite well. And a year later, still doing school remotely, she is still doing well. Her grades are on par with grades she received when she was physically in school. It’s been much easier for all of us. When physically going to school my daughter would give me problems on a daily basis. She would never eat breakfast. With remote school there has been none of that. She eats breakfast every day. I’ve had no issues waking her in the morning. The daily struggle is gone. The daily phone calls from the school nurse or office are gone. The dread of going to school the next day is gone. That has been replaced with the dread of returning to school. We have opted to finish the school year remotely.
Right now it’s unclear where we will be a year from now. I know there’s every intention to keep students in school and I know my work place is putting in every accommodation under the sun to keep us safely in the office. Whether I’ll be there or not is yet to be known.
To add to the joke that the Massachusetts vaccination rollout has been, I have to laugh at one of the things that they list as a “comorbidity”, meaning, if you do this (not if you have it, because it’s not something you have, it’s something you choose to do), you are eligible to get vaccinated over others right now. That “comorbidity” is smoking.
Yes, in Massachusetts they consider smoking a medical condition. Smoking is not a medical condition. It is something people choose to do. It will cause medical conditions. It will make your current medical conditions worse. And it could kill you. But smoking itself is not a medical condition and it should not be considered a “comorbidity”. By definition a “comorbidity” is a disease or medical condition that is simultaneously present with another or others in a patient.
The biggest joke is how Type 2 Diabetes is on the list (which I can fully agree with, being a Type 2 diabetic myself), but not Type 1 Diabetes. Yet smoking is. I also find it ridiculous that it lists one of the comorbidities as “immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant.” Um, don’t they know you can have a weakened immune system from something other than an organ transplant? Like Multiple Sclerosis. Which is what my husband has. It doesn’t even list HIV or AIDS. But if you’re an overweight smoker, even if you have nothing else wrong with you, you’re all set. Because being obese is one of the comorbidities also. Also, if you’re 101 and may not even be around for your second shot, which is what happened to my friend’s grandmother, it’s okay. At least she was able to get her first shot.
But, you know, priorities….
Two months into the COVID-19 vaccinations and suddenly for some, it’s time to party. At least it seems that way in Massachusetts.
For a state who can’t figure out which way is up when it comes to getting its population appointments for vaccinations, a state who thinks students should be back fully in school by April, even without teachers being vaccinated, a state whose metrics on deaths, hospitalizations and active cases have declined but new cases have not, they have decided that it’s time to let loose on the TD Garden, Fenway and Gillette play to a live audience. Because priorities.
Considering that Fenway and Gillette are two of the mass vaccination sites, how do they intend on doing vaccinations and play baseball and football games? Don’t tell me Massachusetts thinks all the people who want/need to be vaccinated will be vaccinated by Opening Day. Or even Patriots pre-season. Because they won’t. I hope they’re not thinking the state won’t need those mass vaccination sites by that time. At the rate we’re going, we’ll be lucky anyone who wants a vaccination in Massachusetts will have gotten it by Christmas.
And don’t get me started on restaurants. Because those places are the last places I want to be. COVID doesn’t disappear just because your table is six feet away from the party next to you. It doesn’t disappear when you take your mask off to eat. Even if you wore it coming in and when you leave.
I can understand how everyone is feeling. We’re all sick of COVID. So many literally. But such a small fraction of people in the state, many of who won’t even go to a restaurant or a baseball, basketball or football game, have received both of their vaccinations. In fact, as of right now there are more people who HAVE NOT received their vaccination than those who HAVE. There are many who WILL NEVER get a vaccination. Because they don’t want to. So is it really the right time to let our guard down, throw caution to the wind and go to a ball game? Even with adherence policies in place?
I guess the only way to find out is to do it.
And hope for the best. Because if the best doesn’t happen, lack of vaccination appointments will become the least of Massachusetts’ problems.