Hads and Haven’t Hads

When my friend who lives here on the island offered a chance to nab a vaccine appointment (momentarily available at Swedish in Seattle), I should have jumped. Instead, I passed. Oh, so cavalier at that point!

For a while I did the coulda, shoulda shaming number, but many people are in a worse position. I am not in a grocery store all day waiting for the mutant virus variant to come shopping, or living in a way that guarantees family sharing of the virus.

For days I kept sorting through the possible vaccine sites, and read last week of the first county clinic on this side of the water. Registration opened at 10 a.m. Monday, and by the time the twirly ball paused at 10:13, the registration page opened to read, “there are no appointments available.”

Then, just as I’d resigned myself to stay part of the “haven’t hads,” a local Instagram friend posted that she’d been vaccinated. Awestruck by her ability to negotiate the system, I inquired and learned of another clinic in nearby Silverdale, where the website announced, “no appointments but check back on Friday.” So I did – occasionally refreshing the page as I did other things. Suddenly, lo and behold, a little past mid-day, a schedule appeared. By the time I nervously signed up my husband and me and dashed next door to tell my neighbors to try, the appointments were gone.

I’m not sure this system should be so confusing, reliant on online access and time, threatened by inequities (like hospital donors getting early vaccine), nor so dependent on luck and chance (a fortunate Oregon few vaccinated while stuck in a snowstorm behind a jackknifed tractor-trailer). But my heart goes out to the people managing this rollout, the same public health workers who have coped with the pandemic for a year. It seems beyond hard to deal with last minute and uncertain vaccine allotments.

I hope, if your phase is open, you have had the shot or have an appointment! “Keep checking back” really does work.

One very happy thing during the endless month of January 2021 – Sweet Brother turned one last week. Only ever having known a pandemic and his whole family home together, he has one upper and two bottom teeth, a definite exploratory nature, and can walk everywhere – including a snowy totter on a birthday adventure!

8 thoughts on “Hads and Haven’t Hads

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Katy. It is such a challenge to remain calm and positive through this chaotic process. If ever there were an argument for a centralized medical system, this is it. I wonder if we will be able to draw this conclusion, for our own benefit… Mike and I are not yet registered, but finding the fortitude to endlessly seek an appointment is beyond me some days. It will happen.

    Thanks, too, for the charming drawing of little brother. Our Ben is one year old this week, and is on the cusp of walking, where he has been for three months. It is such a delight to see these little guys move forward in life.

    Finally the watercolor Tea Towels are now hanging in our “new” kitchen, and I enjoy them just as much as I did when they were given to me before we were married, over 30 years ago now. Life is wonderful when there is art in it. Be well. We need our artists more than ever just now.

    • Oh so good to hear from you Bonny – thank you! I am curious about your new house- and wish you well in the appointment search. You are absolutely right – it’s very frustrating. Xo

  2. That little guy in his snowsuit is so precious. I love these paintings of the children. I am a have not at the moment. But I’ve decided to calm down about it. (Easier said than done.) At the moment there is not even the opportunity here in Portland to search for a place to receive a vaccine. We’re not eligible until Valentine’s day. They are doing all teachers here first, and I think that’s a good thing after watching our learning-disadvantaged 10 year old struggle with the online learning this school year. I’d love to see him be able to go back to school.

    • Thank you Carol! And I’m glad to say that is happening here also – there is a plan special clinics for teachers. Here’s to a Valentine’s Day breakthrough. I still think it might be a speedier rollout once it starts. Hope anyway. Xo

  3. Frustration, anxiety, sleepless nights—all because of the complicated and confusing navigation of all the different websites—-getting to the end of filling out all your information only to be told there are no appointments, check back at a later time, etc. we are trudging through all our “sign-ups” daily and sometimes more to see if something pops. We also passed on appointments in Tacoma thinking we could find something closer to home.

    Sweet rendering of your grandchild❤️

    • Thank you! And yes, we all had hoped for closer to home – and surely that is coming with news today that the administration (how great to not shudder when writing that!) will next week release a lot of vaccine to pharmacies. We are all accustomed to dealing with pharmacies! And dispersal to more vaccinating entities would surely improve the “check back” situation. Crossing fingers!

  4. So glad you got a shot. We go for ours next week. They’ve been pretty available in out county–partly because of a lot of vaccine-fearful folk.

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