January 20, 2021

Opportunities

Today was a new day for our country, many are relieved and have hope that we can start to address the Pandemic and vaccine rollout, which has been sorely neglected.

One of our first opportunities is perhaps helping our loved ones who have come under the spell of Qanon. Two reasons why it might be a good time to reach out to loved ones is the Qanon theory has been undermined by the reality of Bidenโ€™s inauguration and Trumpโ€™s leaving, combined with the loss of platforms like Twitter and Facebook that were keeping them stimulated and connected. For the moment, they may not be completely overrun with false conspiracy theories and are feeling disconnected from the conspiracy. This provides an opportunity for reaching out and sharing your love. This thread has some good ideas and advice on how to reach out, which is more about sharing your love and not about your judgement or disagreement. Showing curiosity without judgement can start a conversation and connection that may start to bring them back. It may just work. I wrote about the lesson I learned from an old friend who had been a Moonie in my blog earlier. He had been essentially kidnapped by his parents to be de-programmed and it finally worked when he met with a Rabbi who showed curiosity without judgement. This brought him back to earth.

The next opportunity will be vaccine distribution, which is proving frustrating nationwide. Just today, my organization posted about vaccines being available, but a fraction of what is needed for our patients. Needless to say, patients werenโ€™t happy when the appointments for the vaccine were filled within minutes. Others are trying to find the vaccine at other sites. However, the demand greatly exceeds the supply and will not be solved soon. It seems to be problem in many states as well. New York has had a shipping delay.

I personally felt complete and utter disappointment when I tried to schedule my first vaccine. I wasnโ€™t fast enough and all the slots disappeared before my eyes. I was lucky because I was able to schedule the vaccine in the middle of the night because I couldnโ€™t sleep from worry. I can understand how frustrated people are feeling, especially the higher risk, older patients who may not be that tech savvy or those that open an hour on hold only to be told the vaccines are gone.

Remember first of all, that mass vaccine manufacturing and distribution has never before been done on this scale. With a two dose schedule, we need at least 400 million doses. Secondly, remember that until today, we had no advocate in the government to ensure availability of the vaccine. We have a man with a plan now.

What we need is patience and an understanding that vaccine distribution will gear up over the next few weeks, as will manufacturing of more vaccine, which is the limiting factor. Hang in there!

Most people will need to get the vaccine at a mass immunization site, which are coming. In some places, especially rural areas, pharmacies are being used. Other people are being creative and finding extra doses available at the end of the day at pharmacies and other sites ,when people donโ€™t show up for their appointments. Apparently extra doses are being given to people present so the vaccines will not be wasted. Otherwise the hunt for the vaccine goes on in creative ways. I worry about the people who either are not tech savvy or donโ€™t have access to computers, so I will continue to try to help my most vulnerable patients get access.

My best advice is patience and persistence, and stay sensible in your safety measures. If you have skills and can help, the mass vaccination sites will need volunteers.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, beware complacency.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1347564138738946050.html

https://betsybrownmd.substack.com/p/august-14-2020

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/world/covid-19-coronavirus#its-such-a-lottery-disappointment-and-frustration-as-vaccine-offers-melt-away

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/world/covid-19-coronavirus#new-york-city-postpones-vaccinations-shipping-delay

https://apnews.com/article/politics-pandemics-west-virginia-coronavirus-pandemic-2e682c51172839a57ab17ca2b7b8d336/gallery/adcfeb15afb048148e7776bf88259121

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/01/16/covid-vaccine-hunt/

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22229169/leftover-vaccines-random-people-grocery-stores-pharmacies