BKMD - I agree with your TX comment. They've really been hit hard by the weather. My daughter, who lives in Dallas and works in a hospital, lives close enough to the hospital that she's been able to make it to work. So many haven't been able to make it into work that the hospital kicked into some special emergency state, asking my daughter to work lots of extra hours/shifts. When this emergency state kicks in she receives triple pay. She was lucky, that at her home she still had power and that the water pipes, although they froze a bit, they did not burst. Since a lot of the pipes are in the 'attic' she removed some ceiling tiles and opened some vents from the main part of the house so more heat could get to where the pipes are.
Texas has been on a roll the last couple of years: terrible floods in Houston, pandemic everywhere, and now Arctic weather disrupting the power grid and water supply.
Vaccine rollout comes in dribs and drabs. My in-laws who live in KCMO have been able to get the vaccine or are signed up to get it. Only one niece is not on board. My brother in law mentioned that while they can get it in Jackson County, MO, it is virtually impossible over the border in KS. It's easier to get the vaccine in western KS than in Johnson or Wyandotte counties.
We are in MA where the rollout has been more gradual than in other states. After healthcare workers, the first group was age 75 or older. Right now, most people in that age category who want the vaccine have received it, especially those in care facilities. As of now 14% of the population has received at least one shot.
On Thursday, the state expanded the group to people 65+ or with two co-morbidities. This change expanded the potential population by one million. Since the state is getting just over 100,000 vaccines a week and schedules one week at a time, you can imagine the turmoil on Thursday when this new group was able to sign up. The website crashed but over 60,000 people did get appointments for next week.
The governor has also decided to give most of the vaccines to large vaccination centers and not to hospitals. This has eliminated the sites set up by the major hospitals in the Boston area which I think is too bad. We can go to Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and some malls but not to local clinics in our towns.
We are hoping that everything will have calmed down in another week or two and that we will be able to get our shots lined up by then.
For the best country in the world, this is a monumental disaster.
Kathy M...our county has the 65 + sign up, so that’s where the 165, 000 on our list comes from. But they only get 4,000 a week, none last week. And now there is another scandal. When they received two batches, one for first doses and one for second doses, they did not notice and used them all for first doses. Now they are scrambling to get second doses for 100,000 people to keep them within the CDC recommend 42 days that is acceptable between doses. So those of us waiting for first doses are pushed further down the line.
If this wasn’t so serious, it would be hysterically funny, would make a great comedy show. Anyone good at writing comedies? Don’t forget it would have to be a socially distanced acting one. I’d love to play the crazy nurse! Just not too many lines, I’m not very good at remembering them.
I am also in Massachusetts and over 75. Got my shot a couple of weeks ago at Gillette and it was very well done, in and out in15 min. But signing up was a disaster and getting signed up for #2 was another disaster.
Now they have opened the shots to 65 and older, and signing up is again a total disaster. When they opened it up to 65+, a million people became eligible and most tried on Thursday am. The real problem here is not the location, 90% of people live within 45 min of a site, but they just don't have enough vaccine...should have opened it up to 72+, then wait a week, then 69+, etc.
Appointments in NJ were equally as challenging. We spent at least 5 hours online before securing appointments for both of us. Different days. Different locations. BUT, when you check in for the first shot you get an appointment for the second one at that time. That takes the anxiety out of scheduling vaccine #2 within the appropriate time frame.
Perhaps the people poking the needles have something to do with the efficiency.. A steep learning curve is in operation with our health care provider UCSF. Our first Moderna shot took over an hour, and we were not admitted until fifteen minutes after our appointment time. Today we arrived twenty minutes early. We were admitted immediately, pasted with a couple stickers to show that the protocols had taken place. We sat down got the shots and were done (other than the fifteen minute mandatory wait afterward) in ten minutes. We finished before our appointment time. That was at UCSF in San Francisco. Here in Marin they have suspended new appointments due to weather related supply problems. Marin and San Francisco are in the same state. (;-)
British, if it makes you feel better, we live in neighboring Delaware County, and the county received no dosages last week with over 159,000 eligible folks waiting. It seems like lots of people have different angles on getting vaccinated. My friend's son in law is an Upper Darby cop and heard that Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital had extra dosages, and he managed to round up several family members, most of whom weren't technically eligible, and had them vaccinated. Stories like this when many agree to play by the rules angers me to no end. My wife and I are still waiting and trying to get vaccinate, Hate to admit it, but our Classic Italy tour in early October looks very unlikely.
I am equally dismayed by the insensitivity and entitled behavior of some. I saw last week on the news (and someone here mentioned it) that two young people who wore wigs and dressed like "old" people were able to receive their first shot but were caught while attempting to receive the second dose. Fortunately the kind, compassionate individuals far outweigh the jerks (well, maybe.)
I hope you, cathyandsteve, British and I will be inoculated soon.
If your county allows people to use halloween costumes to get shots, the problem is close to home. Our UCSF provider requires several identification verifications prior to giving the vaccine. That being said, they don’t turn away anyone over 75 with proper ID. They are efficient enough now that I’m pretty sure those who show up without an appointment are not a big problem.
Parts of the world are ready for us ... some are close to home.
We had our hot tub, now headed for dinner in the freezing cold ... they have heaters.
Had a few exciting moments. While having Scotch and chocolate on our cabin deck I spotted a fire in the distance around nine o’clock at night. This was the location of the “Rim Fire’ eight or nine years ago. The Evergreen Lodge was saved in part by the fact that the firefighters were living here. The fire came right up to the fence by the swimming pool, and there they held the line. We went into the full 911 mode, but the management was able to confirm that it was a ‘forest service’ controlled burn. All I knew was that I was looking at a ‘yellow’ light that was getting larger, and not very far away. Eloise couldn’t see it at first, but when she did said, yup that’s a fire. So we woke up the whole place, but at least now we can sleep.
I, too, live in MA and have to report that as a 75 year old I had a great experience getting the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. The process was so smooth and efficient from sign up to sign in, to the actual injection, to observation to making the second appointment and getting my vaccine card. No waiting in lines, no waiting in the cold at Gillette Stadium as my daughter a nurse had to do for over 2 hours during the first couple of days Gillette was operational. I am wondering why the process used by Beth Israel wasn't the model for all eligible facilities in the state. I received a personalized link to schedule my appointment at the facility of my choice and at a date convenient for me. And no, I do not have co-morbidities that would put me in a higher risk category other than my age. When I read about what others are going through it makes me sad and angry--it's not as though the people in power in government and organizations didn't know this was coming. How could they have let this happen? Now with the governor limiting supply to mass vaccination sites I'm a little concerned about my follow up next week but so far it appears on schedule and I've not been notified that Beth Israel won't be able to fulfill it. Enough of the ranting about that--but there have been so many comments about the vaccine on this thread, I wanted to add my 2 cents.
My real concern, of course, is when will international travel resume. I have back to back trips scheduled for September to Scotland with one provider and to Ireland with Tauck. Essentially it would be the whole month of September and it's anyone's guess at this point whether one or both or neither will be a go. Like others on this thread, I prefer to do back to back trips when feasible because I fly business class and prefer to maximize the travel miles. I am also a solo traveler and have to take into account the single supplement so try to rationalize the flight expense by doing 2 for 1. I don't do business class on the internal flights if they are short haul flights. I cancelled 3 trips last year and am afraid to book anything else until we have more clarity as to when we will be able to come and go as freely as we did pre-COVID. Will wait for Tauck to cancel my trip so the choice of destinations may be limited given how many people are trying to book into 2022 already but it's a big world out there and finding an intriguing place to go won't be a problem once the travel world is in full swing again.
You might have read today about the plans for England to open up in June. Scotland, Wales and Ireland will be considered separately but are likely to be similar. The vaccine roll out there has been so successfully that the Prime Minister feels confident that things will go well. My best friend in England has been helping with vaccinations on two shifts a week in the area I used to live in, the Midlands. She told me just yesterday that they have been so successful reaching the local populations there that they are down to vaccinating fifty year olds, so have had less vaccine supplied this week so other areas can catch up with them.
So I’m thinking that if the US can prove that a large majority of their population is vaccinated, and cases come down, you never know, the British Isles may let Americans into their country again. Since the new announcement, the Brits have gone crazy booking summer vacations, 500 times more than normal. You might want to keep an eye on latest development there. I look at BBC America Or BBC World news daily
British - Keep in mind that in the UK they are giving most people only the first shot. With the Astra-Zeneca vaccine which they are using they have to wait 8-12 weeks to get the second shot. So, yes they are doing well at vaccinating the people, but they aren't getting them 'completely' vaccinated. So I'd give them an asterisk with respect to their progress.
I have a friend in London that I met on the Portrait of India tour. He got his first shot weeks before I got my first shot, but I will get my second shot before he does. This is just one example.
According to ‘The Points Guy’, the travel boom has already begun. Top current destinations are the National Parks.
Sealord - What's the Point Guy have to say about the international travel boom (or should I say bust)?
International travel is going to take a bit longer and depends upon how countries deal with vaccinated people. Mexico, much of the Caribbean, and many other countries are open now, but Europe is mostly not available. Just do a search for ‘The Points Guy’, and you should see his website.
The CDC still recommends no. International travel, whether other countries are open or not. If you travel, any I’m sure could be invalid right now.
I know that reputable companies, such as Tauck, will follow proper safety protocols even if that means canceling travel. I will not travel with a company that chooses to ignore CDC guidelines and other experts in the field of epidemiology.
Moreover, kindly refrain from political commentary. Thank you.
I will travel with a company that chooses to ignore unreasonable CDC guidelines. They do not have the right to control your freedom of movement. They can recommend all they want, but they have no right to prohibit.