I got a call in Key West yesterday. It went something like this.
“Hurry down to Simonton Street, they are signing up senior citizens to get on a list for a vaccine appointment.”
“What? Where? Are you sure?”
“Yes, just heard about it from my husband on the golf course. Call your friends.”
I called my friends, who called their friends.
Within hours, people were racing to the parking lot to give their name, phone number and birthdate.
And that is how we in Key West found out how to get on the list for an appointment for the COVID 19 vaccine. No notifications, just good old telephone tag.
Up until yesterday, we had been searching fruitlessly for any information. Our county did not participate in the online website (which crashed repeatedly), the health line number went to a voice mail that was not returned. Our doctors didn’t know. The local and chain pharmacies didn’t know. So we waited, and if not for that call, I would never have known.
Nationally, only 28% of the vaccines that have been distributed have been administered.
The experts aren’t.
The plan to leave it up to individual states, counties, towns, and townships was a system designed to fail. Without a nationally coordinated effort, an untrained, understaffed, beleaguered, and besieged local officials could only do the best that they could.
Maryland is effectively keeping its residents informed, but other states, well…
So, the 20 million people who were supposed to be vaccinated by now is less than 5 million. Some are panicking as the COVID crisis gets worse and conditions are becoming dire.
The good news, the new President has already developed a desperately needed nationally coordinated plan. There will be hiccups, of course, but for those of us who remain vigilant, help is on the way.
Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.