It’s all about the numbers. Remember when we lived for the daily pre-election polls (though inaccurate)? Now it’s about the infection rate and vaccine availability. At least Covid’s data doesn’t lie. Though deaths, hospitalizations and cases are lowering, we still have a long way to go. And the decrease isn’t from the vaccines, but rather from less holiday partying and travel (though the recent Super Bowl is considered a national holiday and will most likely spike us up by March 5th).
Thank God I stopped the addiction to watching all network news. It doesn’t matter if it’s CNN or Fox — the problem is that we all know it all, now. We don’t need the hourly “breaking news” updates. We don’t even need reports on the stimulus, Impeachment, or please, Marjorie Taylor Green. SNL couldn’t even hit the right satiric mark with her. Only Randy Rainbow gave us the best “Greene” account in all his glory to Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen.” And here I was worried about Rainbow post-Trump. But it turns out he has plenty of material and I would rather get my political reports via Rainbow than Anderson, Maddow or Tucker anyway.
What is really encouraging is there hasn’t been a person I have spoken to who hasn’t been impressed with the incredible efficiency getting their inoculations. Every facility (indoors or stadiums) has been on time, speedy, caring, with great medics, EMTs, firemen and National Guard all administering jabs with expertise. Imagine the National Guard who a month ago were handling the dicey inaugural security are now all becoming today’s Ben Caseys and Marcus Welbys. What can’t they do?
Even Uber drivers have been taking people at no charge to the outdoor vax pods. This is heartwarming at a time when more locations are opening and the blizzards and cold have people risking their health just standing in line.
As for the numbers — many of us keep checking daily on individual state’s viral tracking tallies. It has become THE Super Bowl contest in our nation. Who has the lowest infection rates and who is spiraling out of control. I have yet to find a governor in any state who could quarterback a Covid defeat like Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes do with their teams.
How does Florida stay lower than my own state of Arizona with its beaches and open-for-business atmosphere? What are we doing wrong? For one, it seems we never got low enough last summer before opening. We never leveled. For another, we have a Governor Doug Ducey who has been MIA as have most of the county officials. At least in Florida Governor DeSantis keeps in front of the camera daily doing reports (though some people suspect he is lying). Who cares — at least he shows a (mask-less) face taking the reins. And the viral count reflects it.
Even Vegas is doing better than us. They have “reservation only” gaming rooms, strict mask mandates, plexiglass dividers everywhere, no buffets, limited poolsides. And some strippers are even performing outside! (masked and distanced for drive-by viewing). Imagine, curbside porn. Good for them!
“Super Spreader” is now Arizona’s middle name. Even our medicinal/recreational pot dispensaries now look like overcrowded Covid Circle Ks. There are no real line blockades and no plastic protection for sales help. I now hear from serious cannabis users that they are dumping dispensaries and going back to their tried and true “street dealers.” After all, they are cheaper, take Visa, and some even offer “home delivery.”
But back to the vax. A friend recently told me jokingly that she won’t get a shot until Amazon or Chewy’s gets distribution. That may happen — but not for a while. In the meantime, we all listen and learn from friends — some of whom only had a sore arm whereas others were stricken for two days with fatigue, body aches, and a low-grade fever. But it all disappears fast. Just take Tylenol. Even Dr. Fauci reported that his second Moderna shot left him flat on his ass — but only for a day!
I have a nurse pal who alerted me to checking my blood type. Apparently blood type O is thought to be Covid immune. Though my doctor told me “not necessarily.” I am type O, but it hasn’t prevented me from being Covid crazy/anxious! And no matter the blood types, we can’t become vax lax or too emboldened — I say keep the CDC guidelines going till herd immunity is here.
I also learned that you should tell your vax inoculator to pinch your arm firmly to grab the flesh and hold. It will prevent soreness. And don’t take a couple of Percocets before the shot. Doctors are still not sure how certain medications interact with the vaccine.
Meanwhile, doctors have recently told me that soon we will stop being so vax obsessed and turn to the therapeutics like Regeneron and Dexamethasone (what Trump took for speedy recovery) which will further help with viral management. So that by June, no one should DIE of Covid. Sick? Yes, but the death rate should tank. We can only hope.
Valentine’s Day weekend is fast approaching. Our hotels are still packed from the Waste Management Phoenix Open (big golf tourney) and are now offering romantic weekend getaways at $850 a night. Romance? For some of us, the vaccine shot is the social highlight of the year. We are getting “dressed” and wondering what shirts to wear with good roll-up sleeves. That, along with masks and sweats, is the fashion statement of this era.
I am hoping my vax medic is a hunky National Guardsman who knows how to pinch my arm “just right.” Remember when Valentine’s Day used to be about getting a box of Godiva chocolates or a sexy Victoria’s Secret pajama set?
Well now, all I want is that Valentine’s Vax. It will be the “poke” of a lifetime while singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
Now that’s romance — Covid style!