Monday, February 8, 2021

The Virus Tunnel Continues

Monday, February 8, 2021

The vaccinations brought new expressions like a "light at the end of the tunnel" and "hope." One person after being vaccinated even did a dance. For myself at age 90 and living in Iowa and in Scott County the tunnel continues. Rightly so, health care workers and nursing home patients and staff have taken precedence with the first shot and enough needs to be saved for the second. My wife as a clinical nursing instructor has received the first shot with the second next week.

A number of issues extend the dark. The department of health is in charge in Scott County. They are only taking 500 persons a week, the number of vaccines available. That is for a population of 25,000 age 65 and older, along with police, fireman, teachers. I tried to get on the list. I did register but to get on the list you have to log in for the appointment. So far our attempts have reaped the message that all appointments have been filled. And then because of lack of vaccines last week they didn't give shots to the appointed list, postponed for a week. For me that means a two week wait. 

Part of the issue with the department of health is they are understaffed after being under funded for several years. The decline in slippery slopes are eventually rewarded in some way including disaster. The lack of vaccines is an additional issue.

Help is on the way. The President and his advisors are making pharmacies available as places to be vaccinated. We often receive the flu shot at our nearby Walgreens. I have inquired and they have given me the procedure to register. The procedure is to much for this 90 year old. My wife is more adept. She has registered me with Walgreens. Again they are not taking appointments since they do not have the vaccines yet. I am sad for other elder and the poor without computers or the tech skills.

Another possibility from the President is to have a 100 sites with Federal Emergency Management Agency with military assistance deliver vaccinations. The County Supervisors approved a letter last Thursday to apply. Time is of the essence. 

Now we have a new strain of the virus, a variant of three kinds that is spreading. Nine cases in Iowa already, The variants are said to spread faster. The race is on as the tunnel darkens and continues. Stay tuned. Updates coming. I am hopeful,  in between and not yet realized hopes. 

Tuesday, February 9

The dark of the tunnel is fed in more than one way. The lack of vaccines is one way. The decision by the Governor of Iowa is another. On the day of the Super Bowl she opened bars, restaurants, no mask, large gatherings. She did not consult the Department of Health in making the decision. She made it on the slight decline in the number of cases reported. She even went against the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control.  The director said as much when asked. Opening up on the day of Super Bowl to allow for super spread extends some darkness. We shall see. 

A point of light was shown on the editorial page of the Quad City Times. Ed Tibbet commended the people of the state for doing masks, social distancing, and not attending places that spread the virus. The remarks of the Governor did not distort the good sense of the everyday folk. We knew better when she did not.  Hopefully that will continue. I am definitely in the group, mask and limiting my going out. The Fitness Center in the afternoon has few people there and that is when I go three afternoons a week.. I had the machine weights and the stationary bike in separate areas almost to myself the whole time. They are busier in the morning and evening. Where leadership is lacking each person can lead responsibly. 

To be continued,

Marlin Whitmer