Monday, January 25, 2021

Not Enough

 I got the following email from the NJ Dept. of Health late last week:

This was somewhat heartening news, but notice that second sentence. I think they should have bolded and underlined it. The first way to get vaccinated involves simply waiting. Okay, I can do that, but I'm not content to just wait. I clicked on the link of designated vaccination sites listed under #2 and fell down the rabbit hole. After two and a half hours and a frustrating phone call, I ended up "pre-registered" at four different sites. I started with my county's Health Dept. and because all the appointment slots were filled, I was advised to call and speak to a Health Dept. nurse. I'm a rule-follower, so I did. The nurse asked me a bunch of questions about my age and health and then said that I was not really eligible. I have compromised lung function due to a pulmonary embolism, but she did not think it was compromised enough. I have hypertension (and take medication), but she said my blood pressure was not high enough. She asked if I was obese, and when I told her my BMI, it turns out that I am not fat enough. (By now I was laughing!) When I asked why the state had determined I was eligible based upon my pre-registration with them, she said it was really a matter of not enough vaccine. The county had only received enough doses to vaccinate 50 people (the population is 124,000), so I was eligible despite our previous surreal conversation, but there is just not enough vaccine. I wish the nurse had just said that in the beginning, but she did tell me to register at as many vaccination sites as I could, and hopefully I could receive the vaccine soon. 

So that's what I did. I'm now registered at several sites and I will hopefully be able to get an appointment at one of them in the near future. Some of them are two hours away, but I'm willing to travel if it means I can get the vaccine. I know there are many, many people who need and want the vaccine, and I was just trying to make an appointment for my place in line. My lung function may not be poor enough, my blood pressure high enough, and I don't weigh enough, but I really wish there was enough vaccine for everyone. I want the vaccine, I want my children to be able to get the vaccine, and I want all of you to be able to get the vaccine. I will just need to maintain enough patience and hope.

And now because every blog post needs a picture and this was not an overly cheerful post, I'll leave you with one of my favorite Bernie memes: Bernie takes on Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit.

And even better is the fact that Bernie Sanders has turned his inaugural image into a sweatshirt for charity. The
 Chairman Sanders Crewneck — named to honor Sanders’ assumption of the powerful Senate Budget Committee chair now that Democrats control the chamber — is on sale for $45, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Meals on Wheels Vermont.

Hope you're having a good Monday (and finding that you are indeed enough)!


  1. Well that is frustrating for sure!! Patience is not one of my strong points by any means....

    What a great Bernie meme and what a great shirt!! I love that all the proceeds go to charity (and in Vermont! one of my favorite places).

  2. That sounds SO frustrating! I am still waiting for MA to announce a plan for vaccinating everyone. We are finishing up healthcare workers and first responders now and then moving on to those over 75, I believe.

  3. I hope you get an appointment soon! This vaccination roll out is indeed frustrating!!

  4. Seems like Bernie Memes are finally the thing that is unifying the nation. I think it is great that he is donating the proceeds of the sweat shirts to charity - 100%! Good for him! Vaccine roll out very slow and troubling here too. I am supposed to get a second done on Feb. 12, but who knows?!? My husband is 65 and has been told that it might take until March for him to get one. Hope our new president can get this vaccine mess figured out and fixed. Have a good week and stay well.

  5. This whole vaccine distribution is an utter mess. What should happen is that some authority, be it a county or state health department, should have a database of every one of its citizens and just notify them when they can get vaccinated. And obviously production needs to seriously be ramped up. My parents keep trying to get appointments in Florida, where it seems they'll vaccinate anyone who can get an appointment, but those slots seem to fill up in seconds. I know I have a long wait ahead of me (maybe by the summer? or fall?), but I don't have any underlying conditions and am relatively young, so can be patient -- I'd rather those shots go to people who are more at risk. I will keep my fingers crossed that you get some good news soon!

  6. I know President Biden is well aware of the stunning disaster that was left regarding distribution, and I hope that production will be ramped up soon. (I too would be laughing with you, I am now afraid to call myself to have someone tell me I am not fat enough! {which I absolutely am!} but really, couldn't she just have said... I'd love to put you on the list, but we are so short on vaccines right now.

    Those Bernie memes... the best!

  7. I only have one place to register here, the county health department. I don't qualify because I am not over 75. I think that age requirement is too high, as does the federal government, but that's the way it is. I did register for a call to see if I can get my husband on the list. He is not over 75 either, but he has so many health problems that I know he qualifies. At least it would be nice for him to get vaccinated so that if I brought it home during one of my very rare trips to the outside world, he would have protection. There are currently no available slots for vaccine here, and they don't know when there will be. I will be 70 this month, and I don't have any compromising health conditions, so I have been told that I will need to wait until late spring or summer. I think it will be quite some time before the pharmaceutical companies can ramp up, but at least it's a start. Happy Monday, Bonny, love that Bernie shirt.

  8. Last week our county received 800 doses of vaccine for the over 65 age group (about 12,000 of us). I was unable to get a call through and we don’t have an option to pre-register for when the next batch comes in. A friend of mine did get the vaccine after making 103 phone calls and waiting nearly 2 hours on hold...I lack the patience for that!

    1. When I was in my 20s and 30s I used to think that scoring coveted concert tickets was a b[g deal; little did I know there would be a much bigger deal decades later! After 103 phone calls and being on hold for 2 hours, I'm glad your friend's persistence was at least rewarded. I know I need to be patient, but I also lack that level of patience!

  9. Sheesh. It's going to be quite a while for me...

    Have you seen the crocheted "Bernie"? The designer did an AMAZING job and sells the pattern, but she has the original listed on eBay where it's currently at $15,400 -- 100% of which will also benefit Meals On Wheels!! (

  10. The vaccine rollout has been frustrating, to say the least. I truly appreciate Anne Helen Petersen's take on the situation (and recommend her Culture Study newsletter in general):

    Our library had fun with Bernie and put him in a few places. We made downloadable Zoom backgrounds. One has to find levity where one can right now!

  11. Marc and I are at the back of the line which is fine for us but my mom still hasn't been able to get her first shot ... ugh! The best part about the Bernie memes is the Meals on Wheels connection (otherwise, I'm tired of seeing an old white guy show up in all the places).

  12. We are registered as part of the over 65 group. Registration in our county means we want the vaccine and they will call us when we have an appointment. Massive vaccination is quite an undertaking. At least President Biden realizes that Covid-19 is an emergency health crisis.

  13. UGH. What a mess this all is!!! I am only 61, so . . . end of the line for me. (I'm back there WITH my kids. . . ) A lot of my friends are over-65, and here in Michigan that means (allegedly) "eligible." I'm watching them scramble for a ridiculously-limited number of shots at the same time that many of them are also scrambling to try to find shots for their elderly parents!!! (And all of this is particularly frustrating as we live right down the road from Pfizer . . . where they're manufacturing the vaccine.)

    Reading your post made me think of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld: NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!

  14. Even though I got lucky (and I do mean LUCK) many people here in Utah are having a similar experience to the one you're having. I can't even image what it would be like if you didn't have a good computer or command of the language. Smith and I may have trouble getting our second dose.


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