Friday, February 5, 2021

Follow On To My Eisenhower Post: The Greatest Goat Rodeo Of Them All

 I just got this email from my "health care provider".

"The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 18: Phase 1B/Tier 1.  

"Both DOH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require (name deleted) and other medical facilities across the nation to follow this phased vaccination approach. 

"Phase 1B / Tier 1 includes people 65 years and older and individuals 50 years and older who live in a multigenerational household.   

"If you are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccination, follow these three steps:
Visit the DOH Phase Finder tool to verify your vaccination phase eligibility.
If you meet the DOH phase requirements and are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time, visit the WA DOH COVID Vaccine Locator to choose a preferred clinic location.
If you need assistance or don’t have web access, please call DOH at 1-800-525-0127. We recognize many are eager to get vaccinated and prefer to receive a COVID-19 vaccine sooner than later. We appreciate your patience and ask that you please respect and follow the state’s phase requirements, which are aimed at prioritizing the most vulnerable people in our community."  

This was today at about 1700, 5 February.

As the email says, the State announced the Phase 1B/Tier 1 , blah, blah, blah, blah on 18 January.  

I know that to be true because I was sitting in a ferry line in Anacortes, watching another significant portion of the time I seem to have left melt away as the sun was setting and the loud speaker was confirming what everybody already knew - we all had been in that line a lot of other times and it's always the same - that the ferry was 45 minutes late.

So I had time on my hands.

I was listening to KUOW on my iPhone and I kept hearing about the DOH Phase Finder Tool.

It was brand new that very day, the 18th of January 2021.

It was being touted as the portal to immediate vaccination Nirvana, and that sounded good to me.

So I invoked Safari, keyed in WA DOH COVID.

That got me to a site that walked me through a series of steps designed to get me to attest that I am over 65 years old - how could they just believe what I said?

After successfully completing that attestation I got one of these:

Kinda like a gold star in grade school, it seems.

I would have preferred a gold star.

Since the whole purpose for this inane exercise -  inane from my point of view - was to get in some vaccination reservation line somewhere, sometime, I keyed in WA DOH COVID.

That led to a page that had Washington Counties listed, each one with a caret to its right on the page.

If you clicked on the caret, I guessed, as I sat in the ferry line, that you would get a sub list of vaccination points.

Since San Juan County, where I am living, was not on the list - which I thought to be exceptionally odd since Lopez Island Pharmacy over the last several years has built a nice business out of being the premiere vaccination provider in our part of the state - I did the next best thing: I clicked on the caret next to Skagit County, where I was in the ferry line (I had forgotten that I was in Island County) and found all sorts of places on the CONUS side of the water - like Costco in Burlington, who were not taking appointments and were proffering that they had no idea when of if they ever would be, taking appointments; but they did suggest that if one were to refresh the screen for an infinite period of time, the appointment gods might smile on one.

I thought it wise for my limited residual mental stability not to call call DOH at 1-800-525-0127.

I have to say, as a person who has seen a lot of goat rodeos in his time (I spent a year in Saigon in support of "The War Effort" for example) that the vaccination rollout in the United States is the greatest goat rodeo of them all. 

What else can one say about a healthcare system gerrymandered, fragmented, co-opted, privatized and optimized for profitability to the brink of oblivion trying to deliver a questionable - as to its actual existence - vaccine to a fluidly, being re-defined in real time (the 65 year old criterion is only the most recent of a whlole family of predecessor criteria) target population through delivery apparatuses that are pretty much like Brigadoon?

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