Chasing the Vaccine
As the vaccine rules morphed over time, it was becoming concerning that getting a vaccine in another state where we were not residents was going to be challenging. That made us reluctant to make plans to travel in the spring and summer until we knew when Cathy could get a vaccine. How long would we have to wait? Would it be too late to do anything?
Given Cathy’s age, there didn’t seem to be any clear path for her to get the vaccine. Despite the assurance of her oncologist and surgeon that she should qualify due to her recent cancer treatments, the vaccines just weren’t available for someone under 65. Then, one day while checking her junk mail it was there. MD Anderson was offering the chance to get vaccinated. Most of the public vaccine slots filled in just minutes. Having lost a day due to the misdirected email, Cathy was panicked that she had lost her opportunity before she even knew it existed. We scrambled to check available time slots. Monday’s appointments were all gone. Tuesday? Yes! It felt like winning the lottery when the confirmation email arrived.
While Dave’s vaccine had been delivered at the convention center, Cathy’s was at the hospital. After a simple check-in process, she had the vaccine. An uneventful 15 minutes later, she was standing in the rain waiting for Dave. It was great!
We started using our research to help others who were searching. Sandy, who has been spending winters as a Nomad in Florida for the last 3 years didn’t easily qualify under the state’s temporary residence qualifications. Also, when the city shifted its vaccine distribution to an abandoned mall, the sign-up process became much less certain. A message left on an answering machine, with an uncertain future returned call. That led us to a walk-up site on the city’s north side. It was a 2-day event, but Sandy would qualify on the 2nd day. After waiting an hour and a half in the rain, she got her shot.
Next was Samuel, a member of the Spanish congregation who was over 65. With our phone calls to the city’s mall site still not returned, we saw a news report about the newly opened Wal-mart sign-ups. We got him an appointment on the next Tuesday.
Having just returned to Florida from NJ, Don and Bobbi heard of our success and asked for help with their sign-up. As Florida residents over 65, it might be possible, but we didn’t know how long before an opening would occur, and they were only planning to be in town for about 4 weeks. However, as we were having them give us their info for the sign-up, Dave got a text from Clay county about available appointments. They got appointments for the following Monday.
Our efforts weren’t just focused on the state of Florida. Cathy’s sister Chris was having problems with the Guilford County sign-ups due to her terrible internet connection. We were up early one morning navigating the sign-up for her, getting an appointment on the following Saturday. Luckily, the ice that day didn’t knock out the power and she was able to get her shot and return safely home.
We’re not done yet. We’ve been trying to help Dave’s sister in PA and some more church members. The bad weather up north has affected appointment availability up north and supply here in Florida, but we keep trying. Maybe next week.
Since we just purchased our RV with equally new batteries, you might ask why we are changing them out so soon? It’s part of a larger puzzle that includes out boat, Orion Jr. When we returned to Faith last November, Cathy crawled on board to check the boat and discovered the batteries were dead. Not a complete surprise. They had sat without charging for long periods before we were able to mount the solar panels on the boat cover. However, at a minimum, we want the batteries to be able to run the bilge pump, even when it sits on the hard.
Another piece of the puzzle is Dave’s desire to use 2 golf cart batteries in the RV. This configuration was one he had installed in the Puma and the boat. He also happened to have 2 bad batteries on the boat to exchange as core charges for the new ones. So, the new RV battery would replace the boat’s batteries while it sits on the hard. And the RV would get the 2 new 6-volt golf cart batteries.
The text came early one morning. Joe, from Pocahontas, was on his way through and wanted to stop for a visit. Arriving after lunch, we took him (and puppy Caroline) on a tour of Faith before he had to head out for Ocala.
So, with our Puma sold and our vaccines secured, we now could make plans. We had an interview with Janes Island State Park in Maryland and signed up for an April hosting position. We worked our way through travel restrictions in Virginia and New York to make doctor’s and dentist’s appointments. We plan to work our way to Indiana in early July. Why? More about that in a later update.
It’s Lent here at Faith, so the church is distributing Lenten bags to parishioners. Hemingway is standing guard over them. It's an exhausting job.